It appears federal employees are forcing Hurricane Maria victims to give them manicures — for a discounted price, in a territory where more than 80 percent are still without power and where President Donald Trump threatened to abandon these fellow Americans suffering immensely.
A veteran doctor, who worked on humanitarian missions in 10 different countries affected by disasters, quit after she witnessed federal disaster relief employees bringing in Puerto Ricans and demanding they give them a “spa day” with taxpayers’ money.
The unidentified doctor was interviewed by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and provided images and details of what she saw as well as her resignation letter.
The disaster response staff reportedly used the tents provided for medical care for sick or injured Puerto Rican victims and would bring the locals in “to give the medical workers cut-rate manicures and pedicures.” The medical workers were on clock and being paid to give treatments to the hurricane victims but were using the time to order themselves manicures and pedicures.
Obviously, the exploitation of the impoverished locals, many of whom had lost everything and have no homes, food or other supplies, was too much for the doctor to digest.
“I find this gross misuse of taxpayer funds and abuse of our privileged positions personally abhorrent,” the doctor wrote in her lengthy resignation to her superiors at the National Disaster Medical System. “I can no longer serve with honor on this team.”
According to MSNBC, the doctor said she was against the optics of NDMS medical personnel responsible for seeing injured and ill Puerto Ricans who have no homes, food or supplies having a spa day on taxpayer money and she found it “personally abhorrent.”
Apart from this, the medical staff was also shown wearing flip flops inside the tents — tents that are supposed to be sterile — because their nails were drying.
NDMS said they were aware of the situation and were investigating it.
Meanwhile, people are starting to die in Puerto Rico because even three weeks after the hurricane, there is no access to clean drinking water. The locals have been filling up their water bottles form creeks and streams and dying from infectious bacterial diseases that are actually treatable.
But does anyone care?
Apparently not, since a U.S. Naval hospital ship “Comfort” is docked in Puerto Rico but is hardly treating any patients at all. The ship is equipped with state-of-the-art medical devices, has hundreds of beds and a highly trained medical staff, but until Tuesday, was only treating eight patients.
Hurricane Maria is gone now. It is no longer killing people. It is the inefficient response of the federal government that is killing people now.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Alvin Baez