On October 10, 2017, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) was interviewed on CNN about his visit to Puerto Rico.
“I think FEMA has done a great job”, Johnson said when asked about the current relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Regarding the progress that FEMA has done in Puerto Rico, Johnson stated: “They have opened up 22 of the 23 ports, more than 70% of gas stations and grocery stores are opened in the island.”
Johnson stated that he was “literally relieved that it was not the devastation I expected to see”, due to the different pictures and narratives that were circling around the media. “I think the main problem right now is the electrical grid”, Johnson added. After his trip to Puerto Rico, Johnson thinks that the Island is moving past the emergency response phase and going into the intermediate phase.
“My main reason to go down there was to show the Puerto Ricans that we understand their plight, we are not going to forget them,” Johnson stated.
Since Puerto Rico has gone past the emergency phase, the intermediate phase consists of starting up the power so that Puerto Rico can “have an economy and have a future”, Johnson stated. The intermediate phase needs to be focused on power; Johnson said that “You have to pull out all the stops to get that power grid up and running as soon as possible.”
“So, I’m just trying to concentrate on the big issues on hand”, Johnson said, “So, I went to Puerto Rico, and I want to assess it for myself, but also reassure the Puerto Rican people that we’re not going to forget.”