BUFFALO, N.Y. -- One local doctor with family ties to Puerto Rico is speaking out about the response to the disaster on the U.S. Island.
"There' s a lot of Puerto Ricans in this state, not just in New York City, and a lot of us, when it's our island, we're gonna come out. We're all American, but we're also very proud Puerto Ricans to help our own,” said Raul Vasquez. MD. GBUAHN President.
For Dr. Raul Vasquez the disaster in Puerto Rico is not just a humanitarian crisis, it's personal. He has many family members on the U.S. island and worries about the federal government’s response to Hurricane Maria.
“We've got FEMA we've got entities that are responding to this type of situation, and this is America, we've done this many, many, many times, and to come and see through some of the TV stations that are finally bringing information home and being able to talk to some of our family members on different parts of the island, to find out that we haven't done enough. We're back into a Katrina model. Which is a role model," said Vasquez.
The Mayor of San Juan made an impassioned plea for help from federal government only to be criticized in a tweet by President Trump for being a "poor leader." He also said “the (the Puerto Rican people) want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort."
"The Mayor of San Juan was very passionate about it because she cares and I support her a hundred percent on this, but to get lashes out from the president? We need action not talk," says Vasquez.
Ultimately, Vasquez says federal response to this disaster could mean the difference between life and death for many Puerto Ricans in need of help. He only hopes it's not too late.
"If it's not put together, this is the outcome and your going to see a lot of deaths that we don't even know now as a result of time. It's not the actual accident that happens, it's how fast we respond. So the storm didn't kill a lot of people, but this response does and someone has to be held accountable," said Vasquez.