Trump adviser defends Hurricane Maria response

Trump adviser defends Hurricane Maria response
© Getty Images

President Trump’s top homeland security adviser on Thursday criticized media coverage of the recovery from Hurricane Maria.

“I understand the coverage, in some cases, is giving the appearance that we are not moving fast enough,” Tom Bossert told reporters at the White House.

Bossert claimed many news reports contain outdated or misleading information that has created what he said is a false impression the White House has neglected the people of Puerto Rico.

Trump is under fire for his response to Hurricane Maria, with critics saying it has lacked the urgency and generosity of the recovery efforts from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bossert acknowledged that for Puerto Ricans without food, water or fuel, “there is nothing that can happen fast enough.”

But he insisted the Trump administration’s disaster response is no different than their efforts in Texas, Louisiana and Florida, where the earlier storms hit.

“The people of Puerto Rico have every bit of support from President Trump that he gave to the citizens of every other state in this country,” he said.

Bossert singled out reports that said only 11 of the island’s 69 hospitals are operational. He said the number is now at 44. The previous figure was from a Federal Emergency Management Agency update from Tuesday.

“As you see pictures, some of them are dated. As you see data, some of it is out of date,” he said. “It’s not necessarily wrong or right. The frustrations of people, though, are being magnified.”

Bossert urged reporters not to report any outdated information “that would unnecessarily defeat the morale of the people of Puerto Rico."

“This is a mission about saving the people of Puerto Rico, relieving their pain and sustaining their lives,” he said.