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09 October 2017, 12:43 | Damon Campbell
Trump compares hurricane death tolls
The price of Puerto Rico's benchmark general obligation bonds tumbled to a record low on Wednesday after US President Donald Trumpsuggested the island's massive debt load will have to be wiped out due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.
The US president, alongside First Lady Melania Trump, visited the middle class suburb of Guaynabo, walking among trees and signs felled two weeks ago by Maria's jet-blast winds.
"I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of whack".
But after Maria struck Puerto Rico, the local mobile phone operator of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim proved more reliable than some United States competitors during the early days of the communications outage across the island of 3.4 million people. "This is a people-are-dying story", Yulin Cruz said during an interview with CNN last Friday.
In short, Trumps visit to Puerto Rico was a disaster and didn't draw enough attention to the plight of the people.
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The most recent shot came from Cruz, who wore a t-shirt with the word "NASTY" written on it while castigating Trump in a TV interview the day after he visited the US territory. "And that's fine, we've saved a lot of lives", Trump said. "You don't need them anymore!"
He has also been pilloried by opponents for moving more slowly to help Puerto Rico than he did Texas or Florida.
"There's a time for lighthearted and there's a a time for not", she said, "and being on an island that's devastated and people are dying, I don't think amusing is really the direction you want to go". Only 10 percent of the island's cell phone towers are working and residents have waited hours in long lines for gas or groceries.
While Cruz said she had good conversations with the White House staff and was optimistic about relief efforts moving forward, she said Trump's involvement in the meetings were just for good publicity.
Cruz also lashed out against Trump's act of tossing paper towels at the hurricane victims, calling it 'terrible and abominable'.
Trump, who has feuded with the mayor of Puerto Rico's capital over the pace of the relief effort, claimed before leaving that even his critics were acknowledging "what a great job we have done".
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There is now no law against gerrymandering, but the outcome of the Wisconsin gerrymandering case could change that. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.
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