NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Sen. Charles Schumer is urging the White House to appoint a chief executive in charge of helping Puerto Rico recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria.
The New York Democrat said Sunday that the “chief executive of response and recovery” would have a direct line to Republican President Donald Trump and other federal and Puerto Rican officials.
Schumer said the federal response to Hurricane Maria has been mismanaged.
At least 49 people have been killed since Maria hit Puerto Rico on Sept. 20 and thousands have lost their homes.
But Schumer said that 80 percent of Puerto Ricans still lack electricity. He said “this is just unconscionable and demands new action.”
In addition the Senate Minority Leader said 1 million citizens there don’t have access to clean drinking water.
“People drinking sewage because they don’t have water. Hospitals worried that their patients will die because they’re on some faulty old generator and they don’t have electricity,” Schumer said.
Standing with New York Congress members Nydia Velazquez and Jose Serrano — both born in Puerto Rico — Schumer called the federal response slow and disorganized, while Trump this week gave himself a “10” for his administration’s response to the crisis.
Without a coordinated effort, Schumer says the tell toll on the island will surely go up.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)