FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2018 record photo, Jennice Fuentes, right, of strength 4 Puerto Rico, speaks outside the White house in Washington, throughout a vigil commemorating the one-year anniversary the Hurricane Maria hitting Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is obtaining much the the money it needs to rebuild its power grid three years after ~ it to be wiped the end by Hurricane Maria, the island territory's governor and also the White house said Friday.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2018 record photo, Jennice Fuentes, right, of strength 4 Puerto Rico, speaks external the White house in Washington, throughout a vigil commemorating the one-year anniversary that Hurricane Maria hitting Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is gaining much that the money it demands to rebuild its power grid 3 years after it to be wiped the end by Hurricane Maria, the island territory's governor and also the White house said Friday.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — chairman Donald trump announced the relax Friday that $13 exchange rate in assistance to fix years-old hurricane damages in Puerto Rico and also pledged to gain back its economy, setup aside his past bitter therapy of the island and its leaders together he court Puerto Rican voter in the U.S., particularly in the crucial swing state of Florida.

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Trump has actually spent lot of his management blasting Puerto Rican officials as corrupt and inept, and also he has actually opposed spending to rebuild a power grid and also other framework that to be wiped the end by the Hurricane Maria in September 2017. He’s now illustrating himself together the territory’s ideal friend.


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“I’m the finest thing that ever before happened to Puerto Rico,” he claimed at a White home press conference, “no one even close.”

Residents that Puerto Rico, a U.S. Region of much more than 3 million people, cannot poll in the basic election. However there are an ext people the Puerto Rican lower on the mainland than on the island, and they might play a vital role in the Nov. 3 vote.

Former Vice president Joe Biden has additionally sought assistance from Puerto Ricans, recently releasing a recovery setup for the territory and visiting central Florida. The an ar has among the largest concentrations of human being from the island ~ above the U.S. Mainland, including plenty of who fled the devastation the Hurricane Maria.


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The hurricane slammed right into the island through winds of 155 mph, leading to an approximated $100 billion in damage and killing virtually 3,000 people, follow to one official death toll that Trump has said to be exaggerated to do him watch bad.

The give announced Friday includes practically $10 billion to rebuild an electrical grid that was wiped out by the storm and resulted in the longest blackout in U.S. History.

Asked why the help was coming now, much less than 50 days prior to the election, trumped insisted his management had been functioning on gaining it done however it was hosted up by democracy in Congress. In fact, they approved the funding and also pushed because that its release.

Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez, a brand-new York Democrat, took note of the time of Trump’s aid so close come the election.

“The Trump management delayed, dragged that feet and resisted allocating this badly necessary funds,” claimed Velázquez, that was born in Puerto Rico. “Now, forty-six days before the election, the administration has ultimately seen right to relax these funds.”

Trump in the past has actually opposed providing additional aid to Puerto Rico, suggesting it had actually received as well much already and expressing problem that the money would be wasted or misspent.


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In the consequences of the storm, the publicly feuded v the market of san Juan over her criticism that his administration’s response. And he irritated countless by tossing rolfes of record towels into a crowd during a visit come an island church. Democrats earlier this year posted photo of the step on a billboard in Kissimmee, a greatly Puerto Rican city in central Florida.

Trump dismissed that background as he discussed the assist disbursement and also pledged to revitalize Puerto Rico’s pharmaceutical and medical devices manufacturing industry, which has been in decrease in part due to the 1996 repeal of taxation incentives.

“I think you space going to check out a rebuilding the Puerto Rico,” that said.

Even now, three years ~ the storm, thousands of residences are still damaged. The island has likewise been struggle by a series of damaging earthquakes and also remains mired in a deep financial crisis, made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sen. Lining Schumer, the Senate democratic leader, stated the Trump management “dithered and delayed” and lost time that could have been used to aid Puerto Rico emerge stronger native the storm.

“After the storms utterly destroyed the grid, it developed an opportunity to rebuild a cleaner, cheaper and more resilient energy system, yet the Trump administration dithered and also delayed and refused to provide timely disaster assist for the civilization of Puerto Rico,” Schumer said.

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The White house said $9.6 billion of the new funding is to plan to help the Puerto Rico electrical Power authority repair and also replace thousands of miles the transmission and also distribution lines, electrical substations, power generation systems, office buildings, and also make various other grid improvements.

It stated $2 billion would certainly be because that the Puerto Rico department of education to fix schools throughout the island.

With this recent grant, the White residence said the federal government has allocated about $26 billion for the island’s restore from Hurricane Maria. Congress has actually approved around $43 billion.

In October, the island’s government announced a 10-year arrangement to modernize and strengthen the power grid in ~ a projected cost of roughly $20 billion.