Donald Trump
There's so many things you can do during your last day on the job, but if you work for Twitter, you go big and then go home! Departing employee decided to deactivate U.S President Donald Trump account and Internet community is not mad about it. Getty Images

Donald Trump has kept mum about the Puerto Rican earthquakes despite signing an emergency declaration on the island to deal with the aftermath. Trump approved the declaration on the U.S. territory on Wednesday, authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist the Puerto Ricans amid the series of devastating quakes.

Puerto Rico was struck by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, leaving at least one dead and thousands of crucial infrastructure destroyed. On Wednesday, the U.S. territory was hit by another 5.2 magnitude earthquake and hundreds of tremors.

In the wake of the catastrophe, Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vazquez Garced and the mayors of Puerto Rico’s 78 municipalities declared a state of emergency on the island. This prompted Donald Trump to approve federal emergency funding for the island as well.

Despite the declaration, many find it strange that Trump has not spoken or tweeted about the disaster in recent days. Asked why the president has not said anything publicly about the situation in Puerto Rico, the White House press office claimed that the statement they had put out on the earthquakes spoke for the President.

According to reports, the Trump administration has also refused to release all available disaster aid to Puerto Rico despite the series of earthquakes, citing corruption and financial management concerns on the island. Back in September, the Department of Housing and Urban Development was supposed to start disbursing $9.7 billion in aid to the U.S. territory as part of a congressional allocation to strengthen natural disaster readiness. However, the HUD has only released about $1.5 billion to date.

“Given the Puerto Rican government’s history of financial mismanagement, corruption and other abuses, we must ensure that any HUD assistance provided helps those on the island who need it the most: the people of Puerto Rico,” said a senior HUD official.

Trump administration’s downplaying of Puerto Rico’s need for more assistance has sparked outrage among congressional democrats, who now claim that the U.S. president is breaking the law by withholding the congressionally approved money. “The ongoing withholding of funds appropriated by the Congress to Puerto Rico is illegal,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Meanwhile, Queens-Brooklyn Rep. Nydia Velazquez, who grew up in Puerto Rico, said the real issue is not the possible misappropriation of funds but Trump’s personal contempt for the U.S. territory. “The real motivation for withholding these dollars is Donald Trump’s disdain for the people of Puerto Rico and heartless disregard for their suffering, she said. She also said there’s no proof that the island could not properly manage the financial aid.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and HUD Secretary Ben Carson supported Velazquez, calling out the administration and asking Trump to end his “counterproductive vendetta” with Puerto Rico. “As opposed to erecting hurdles to recovery, the administration should be clearing a path, righting past wrongs and delivering the support our fellow American citizens so clearly need,” said Schumer.

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