Sep 25, 2017 (San Diego) What we are watching is a bungled response, with few resources and a nonworking government. You would think that would not be the United States government, but that is exactly who we are talking about.
The Federal Government is spinning up a response. However, this response does not include a hospital ship, never mind Puerto Rico’s hospitals are in trouble. or for that matter the ones in the United States Virgin Islands. We are told the reason is that it cannot dock and they would have to fly patients to the USN Comfort. That is exactly what happened during the Haiti earthquake. Patients were flown in because there was no port. The ship has a hell-pad capable of handling a few helicopters at the time, and a control tower. Except for the fact that it is not docked, it works like any helicopter pad at any trauma center in the United States.
The island is running out of food, water, basic medical supplies, fuel, and has no electricity. This is the begging of a disaster, the scope we have not seen in American history. It also shows that the government, especially the Federal Government, is not working the way it should. I cannot blame the state or local governments on an island with finite resources. They rely on the strategic lift of the United States Department of Defense.
In California, we could get the help in by road. We can also fly it in. The most effective way to deliver aid to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands is by sea. Why were those ships with supplies and fuel not prepositioned? They had a barge, but that is hardly enough for close to three and a half million people, counting both Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Why were aircraft, military lift, not ready to fly in as soon as the airport was cleared? Why were we not ready? I suspect that one reason is that we do not have a functional government, and this is not accidental. There is also a fair amount of racism involved in this.
So what is Puerto Rico facing?
Let’s start with the lack of Electricity:
- No ATMs means no banking.
- No modern economy. All is based on cash and if you cannot access your money in the bank, it does not matter if you have a billion dollars.
- No functioning hospitals
- No functioning government records
- No advanced medical devices, including dialysis and other medical devices.
- No pumps, no clean water.
- No telephones
- No modern services, period
- Disease due to mosquitoes that breed in stagnant water that cannot be pumped
- Then there is a series of other diseases due to stagnant water and other issues.
- No form of modern sanitation
Then there is the issue with food.
- Puerto Rican agriculture is on the verge of collapse
- No distribution network
- Possible starvation
Puerto Rico could very well be on the verge of civil disorder. We know that there are roving gangs of looters already, who have taken to the streets at night. This is not a minor issue. Nor can we say that these are gangs of looters. It is people thrown into a situation that is a survival situation. These are the kinds of conditions that break down civil society.
While the President of the United States is still busy with his rants with the National Football League, and let’s make this clear, they come from the same place we believe, racism, millions are in the midst of a crisis. He is happy to ignore it, and we are seeing a fully dysfunctional government at work. This is ideological, and racist at the same time.
Like Katrina, and Kanye West famously said that then-President George Bush did not like black people, this is also driven by pettiness and a deep seeded fear of brown and black people. President Donald Trump has not even acknowledged the crisis in Puerto Rico over the Twitter. They might as well not exist in his mind. The Feds are responding, but this is hardly a muscular response.
This is indeed, Trump’s Katrina.
Update, some services are starting to come back online, per Noticiero TV in San Juan