President Donald Trump vowed support for the ongoing relief and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico in somber remarks Friday.
"We will not rest, however, until the people of Puerto Rico are safe. These are great people. We want them to be safe and sound and secure and we will be there every day until that happens," he said at the beginning of remarks to the National Association of Manufacturers in Washington.
Offering his "thoughts and prayers" to Puerto Ricans, Trump touted his administration's "massive federal mobilization" in the face of an unprecedented storm, including the presence of over 10,000 federal personnel. "The departments of Homeland Security and Defense are engaged fully in the disaster and the response and recovery effort, probably has never been seen for something like this," Trump said
He offered a defense of criticism that his administration was not working fast enough to provide relief to the millions of Americans on the island. "This is an island surrounded by water, big water, ocean water. We're closely coordinated with the territorial and local governments, which are totally and unfortunately unable to handle this catastrophic crisis on their own, just totally unable to. The police and truck drivers are very substantially gone, they're taking care of their families and largely unable to get involved, largely unable to help," he said.
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