Cuomo spearheads more aid to Puerto Rico

Posted: Updated:
HARRISON -

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was at the Westchester County Airport in Harrison this morning, spearheading the effort to bring much needed supplies to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.

While not traveling to Puerto Rico today, this will be the second time in less than a week that Cuomo is personally involved in the relief effort. Last Friday, the governor flew out of JFK Airport for Puerto Rico to tour the damage caused by Hurricane Maria.

Today, Cuomo stressed that hospitals in Puerto Rico are in desperate need of help so he was on hand to send off the first of another series of medical shipments from New York. Cuomo was joined by nurses who spent hours packing medical supplies that will be delivered to hospitals on the hurricane-ravaged island. Members of United Jewish Federation of New York have already been to the island and seen firsthand the devastation caused by Maria nearly two weeks ago. "It's a desperate situation and the need to get supplies down is real and timely," says UJA Federation Executive Vice President Mark Medin.

The New York effort includes about a half a million dollars in medical supplies plus medical personnel. Nearly 100 doctors and 200 nurses will be sent to the 67 hospitals in Puerto Rico. "Hospitals rely on daily shipments of goods and deliveries and all of that was just shut off immediately," says Cuomo.

New York State has already sent drinking water, ready-to-eat meals, electrical generators and other supplies to the island. Medical supplies donated by the Greater New York Hospital Association

The state also deployed personnel from the Port Authority and State Police to help the Caribbean commonwealth following Hurricane Maria. Nearly 80 Port Authority workers are helping reopen and operate the island's ports and airports. Fifty-three state troopers are providing security and public safety assistance. Ten employees from the New York Power Authority will also join utility officials in Puerto Rico as they work to restore power on the island.
Cuomo says these are all things FEMA should have had in place before the storm hit. “They should have done this before the storm, what they're doing now"
The governor says he thinks it's good that the president is going to Puerto Rico today, but he thinks Trump should have gone sooner.

AP wires were used in this report

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