President Donald Trump again complained Puerto Ricans weren’t doing enough to assist in relief efforts ahead of his visit to the hurricane-ravaged island.
Before leaving for a tour of the U.S. territory, Trump said Puerto Rico was on its way back after Hurricane Maria cut a path of destruction nearly two weeks ago — but he asked for more help from storm victims.
“In Texas and in Florida we get an A+, and I’ll tell you what, I think we’ve done just as good in Puerto Rico, and it’s actually a much tougher situation,” Trump said. “But now the roads are cleared, communications are starting to come back.”
Trump called out truckers in Puerto Rico as not helpful enough, which may have been based on false reports from right-wing blogs that the island’s Teamsters union had gone on strike.
“We need their truck drivers, their drivers have to start driving trucks,” Trump said. “We have to do that, so at a local level they have to give us more help. I will tell you the first responders, the military, FEMA, they have done an incredible job in Puerto Rico, and whether it’s (the San Juan mayor) or anybody else, they’re all starting to say it. I appreciate very much the governor and his comments. He has said we have done an incredible job and that’s the truth.”
U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Valle said “zero blame” should be placed on truckers, many of whom are unable to get to work due to storm damage or are unable to get fuel for their vehicles.
The president responded to heavy criticism over the weekend by attacking the San Juan mayor on Twitter, saying she and other leaders were unable to get Puerto Ricans to help themselves recover from the devastation.
…want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017
‘Disaster and disgrace’: Regretful Trump voter disgusted by his handing of COVID-19 and race relations
Joe Biden has opened a four-point lead over President Donald Trump in Ohio, which the Republican won by twice that margin four years ago.
A survey conducted by Your Voice Ohio found the Democratic candidate leading Trump by 46-42, and Biden seems to be peeling off some of the president's past supporters in the state, reported the Columbus Dispatch.
White House suddenly orders ‘mandatory’ COVID-19 testing for presidential staff
White House employees will now be subject to mandatory testing for COVID-19, an official said on Monday.
In a statement to CNN's Jim Acosta, the unnamed White House official said that staffers working near President Donald Trump would be forced to undergo randomized testing.
"As part of our ongoing efforts to protect the health and safety of the entire White House Complex, randomized testing of Executive Office of the President staff, which has been ongoing for several months, will become mandatory rather than voluntary," the official said.
White House employees reportedly received an email Monday morning with a stern warning.
Thais ‘cast a spell’ for democracy in Harry Potter-theme protest
Dozens of mostly young Thais wearing striped "Harry Potter" scarves rallied Monday against the government, vowing to "cast a spell" for democracy as the nascent movement grows increasingly bold in targeting the powerful elite.
For more than two weeks, young Thais across the country have held near daily protests at universities and town halls to denounce the military-aligned government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha.
Some have also waded into sensitive territory in recent weeks by holding up placards opposing Thailand's lese majeste law, one of the world's harshest.
It shields the monarchy and its super-rich King Maha Vajiralongkorn from criticism, making open scrutiny of the monarch virtually impossible.