President Trump announced he will visit hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico next Tuesday, as the island copes with shortages of food, drinking water and electricity.
“We have to help them. The island is devastated,” Trump said Tuesday.
The administration has been facing criticism for its response to the damage on the island that is home to more than 3 million U.S. citizens.
Trump said next Tuesday is the earliest he can visit without disrupting recovery operations. He voiced confidence that Puerto Rico will recover.
“These are great people, they’re wonderful people. … They’ll be back,” Trump said.
Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that his administration is “working hard” to respond to the island’s needs, vowing, “Much food and water there/on way.”
The president also tweeted about the devastation overnight, while noting the island suffers from “broken infrastructure & massive debt.”
“It's old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars...owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water and medical are top priorities - and doing well. #FEMA,” he wrote.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.