Driving the news: The move, which will surge federal resources, comes a day after Biden approved a major disaster declaration for Puerto Rico and ordered federal aid to assist with recovery efforts.
- The costs that will be covered include debris removal, search and rescue, power and water restoration, shelter and food, the president said.
What he’s saying: “We’re laser-focused on what’s happening to the people of Puerto Rico again,” Biden said, noting that just five years ago, Hurricane Maria also devastated the island.
The big picture: Earlier this week, Hurricane Fiona knocked out power to hundreds of thousands in the Dominican Republic and the entire island of Puerto Rico, and has been linked to at least five deaths.
- Gov. Pedro Pierluisi had requested the Biden administration declare Hurricane Fiona a major disaster Tuesday to unlock more federal aid.
- Puerto Rico’s power grid was already fragile after being severely damaged during Hurricane Maria in 2017.
- While in office, former President Trump resisted giving Puerto Rico any more federal money for its recovery from Hurricane Maria, and the U.S. response has been widely recognized as inadequate.
By the numbers: Nearly a million people remained without power and nearly 359,000 had no running water or only intermittent service in the U.S. territory on Thursday, according to government data.
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Sareen Habeshian