In a visit this weekend to Hurricane Maria-ravished Puerto Rico, the Rev. Jesse Jackson called for the immediate evacuation of children and the elderly from the island, citing insufficient and ineffective recovery efforts.
In making the announcement Saturday in San Juan, Jackson said the University of Chicago is willing to treat some of those who come stateside.
“They are U.S. citizens and they ought to be treated as such,” Jackson said.
To date, at least 48 people have died as result of the storm.
“It’s a disaster zone,” Jackson said after meeting with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and other officials. “It’s going slow. About 80 percent of the people are without lights. They need water, food, medicine and generators.”
Jackson emphasized that those who are ill — especially children —should be evacuated to American hospitals. Others should be evacuated and enrolled in schools across the country, he said.
So far, about 150,000 pounds of relief supplies have been delivered Puerto Rico. Jackson who reached out to FedEx for an aircraft to fly massive donations there, thanked officials for stepping up to the plate.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump, critical of Puerto Rico’s massive debt of more than $123 billion owed since last year, recently threatened to halt federal funding to island, blaming their fiscal state on poor management.
With the hurricane reportedly causing more than $90 billion in damages, Trump angered Blacks, Hispanics and Whites when he also threatened to pull out FEMA workers, saying they can no longer remain there.