Blumenthal to review Trump response to Maria in Puerto Rico

Kyle Constable /

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal

Washington – Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a critic of the Trump administration’s response to the devastation in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria, will travel to  the island on Saturday to get a firsthand look.

Blumenthal is part of a bipartisan congressional trip organized by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

He will travel to Puerto Rico with Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va.; Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; and Cory Gardner, R-Col.

Blumenthal this week sent FEMA a letter urging more help for the Puerto Rican islands of Vieques and Culebra, where communication networks were cut off almost entirely by Maria.

“We write to ask that you send sufficient aid and relief personnel to the Puerto Rican islands of Vieques and Culebra as soon as possible,” Blumenthal wrote. “Thousands of lives are at stake. We remain deeply concerned about the entire relief and recovery effort taking place in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The situations on Vieques and Culebra are especially worrisome. We ask that you ensure these islands receive higher priority than they have thus far.”

President Donald Trump visited Puerto Rico this week. He has declared that his administration has done an “A-plus” job of responding to Maria. But polls show a minority of Americans, as low as 30 percent, approve of the response.