Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) says that President Trump must “stop his insulting tweets” about Puerto Rico as the U.S. territory recovers from Hurricane Maria.
“As American citizens, Puerto Ricans are entitled to the same kind of response as people of Texas, Florida, Vermont and other regions of the country that have been hit hard by natural disasters,” he wrote in a Thursday op-ed for Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Dia newspaper.
“Like many Americans, I am deeply disturbed by the inadequate federal response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, which rightfully has been described as ‘apocalyptic,’” the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate added.
“Now is the time for all Americans to stand together. Now is the time for President Trump to stop his insulting tweets. Now is the time to rebuild Puerto Rico.”
Some Twitter users on Thursday commented upon Sanders’s column, which comes as Puerto Rico recuperates from Maria’s landfall last month.
Trump on Tuesday highlighted the vast costs associated with storm relief and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico while visiting the island.
“I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack because we spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that’s fine,” he said in San Juan. “We saved a lot of lives.”
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello on Tuesday announced that the island’s official death toll caused by Maria had reached 34 people.
Rossello told Trump hours earlier that the number was 16 people during the president’s tour of the territory.