Joint Statement by Rear Admiral Peter J. Brown, White House Special Representative for Puerto Rico Disaster Recovery; Governor Wanda Vázquez-Garced (PR) and Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón (PR)

(March 27, 2020- La Fortaleza, San Juan) –The Trump Administration has committed, even before the coronavirus, over a dozen departments and agencies, thousands of federal employees and billions of taxpayer dollars toward the recovery and resilience of Puerto Rico. This work is being conducted in partnership with the Government of Puerto Rico, the Office of the Resident Commissioner and the private sector, in a new atmosphere of trust, cooperation, transparency, and accountability. President Trump is fully engaged in assisting the government of Puerto Rico and its U.S. citizens in responding to the current COVID-19 threat.

 We continue consulting with local pharmaceutical leaders in Puerto Rico to address current medical shortages and long-term supply-chain security concerns. The FAA approved Puerto Rico’s request to re-route all incoming flights to the San Juan International airport to facilitate effective and efficient passenger screening. Federal agencies continue to provide aid, COVID-19 test protective equipment and logistical support. Textile companies are authorized to reopen factories and produce protective equipment for hospitals, law enforcement officers and essential employees. The VA Caribbean Healthcare System is fully operational and stands ready to support non-VA healthcare systems if tasked by FEMA. Also, private sector companies, like Serrallés Distillery and Bacardi Rum are stepping up and modifying their supply chain to produce alcohol-based disinfectants as a way of proactively contributing to the emergency health crisis currently faced on the island.  

The Trump Administration has expressed appreciation to Governor Vázquez-Garced’s commitment to building a strategic partnership and for joining our nations’ governors on routine briefing calls with President Trump and Vice President Pence, as well as Representative Jennifer González who has been advocating for the President’s agenda in Congress to provide relief to the American economy. President Trump will always place the health and wellbeing of American citizens first. The restructuring of Puerto Rico’s debt is currently paused by the Federal Oversight Management Board in recognition of the coronavirus crisis and millions of dollars in reserves have been released to address the immediate needs of the American citizens of Puerto Rico. 

The Trump Administration is committed to the immediate relief actions for the containment of the coronavirus crisis and the recovery of the American economy and way of life for all Americans, including the millions of U.S. citizens residents of Puerto Rico and the mainland.        


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