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George has issued a statement on the relief efforts in Puerto Rico and US Territories

In the past two months our nation has been pummeled by a series of natural disasters. Hurricanes and wildfires have devastated large areas, killing dozens and displacing tens of thousands. We appreciate everything that FEMA, our military, local agencies, and non-governmental organizations have done and continue to do. They are challenged in a way never seen before. Their efforts at disaster relief and recovery should be applauded.

Yet, there have been suggestions recently that the situation in Puerto Rico is no longer urgent; that Puerto Ricans are somehow to blame; that FEMA and military support may have to be withdrawn; that reports on conditions in Puerto Rico are being exaggerated or fabricated. We know from both governmental and non-governmental sources on the island that the need there is still urgent. Basic needs for water, food, shelter, and power are still not being adequately met. People are desperate. Some have commented that financial considerations – the federal budget and Puerto Rico's ongoing debt crisis – should somehow be factored into decisions about whether or not disaster relief should be provided at all, and if so, how much, and for how long?

Following Hurricane Harvey, disaster relief was approved quickly, without political considerations, which is as it should be. Disaster relief – whether for Texas or Puerto Rico or any other territory of the U.S. - is neither a political nor a financial issue, but a moral imperative. Regardless of where our citizens live, our government has a clear and abiding responsibility to assist those whose lives have been disrupted by natural disaster.

Again, I cannot say enough about the efforts of FEMA, our military, and other governmental and non-governmental organizations who continue to work tirelessly to assist those in need. As one who took part in disaster relief operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricane Hugo, I know how challenging such missions can be. They have our heartfelt thanks and our unconditional support. But, given the statements and actions of some in the present administration and our Congress, it seems reasonable to ask, “Do they have the support of their own government?”

George Scott

Committee to send George Scott to Congress
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