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Celebrities aren't waiting for Trump to help Puerto Rico

by Alex Lubben
Sep 29 2017, 11:48am

While the Trump administration fields criticism over its slow response to the Puerto Rico recovery effort, a range of celebrities have rallied to the cause and added their voices to spur action to help the island’s residents in dire need after Hurricane Maria.

Rihanna tagged President Trump in a tweet she posted early Thursday morning. “Don’t let your people die like this,” she wrote.

As of Friday morning, her tweet had been shared more than 140,000 times.

Ricky Martin, frustrated with the DHS’ reluctance to waive shipping regulations that would allow aid to flow more easily to the island, started his own fundraising campaign earlier this week (though the administration did lift the restrictions Thursday for a 10-day period).

He helped raise over $1.3 million in the course of just a few days.

And actor-comedian Nick Kroll, on Stephen Colbert’s late-night TV show, started the #Puberme challenge, where he and Colbert asked celebrities to share embarrassing photos of their pre-pubescent selves — in exchange for a $1,000 donation from Colbert’s foundation.

Jennifer Lopez spoke beside New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, encouraging people to donate to the relief effort.

And Cher tweeted a bunch of sharp critiques of the president.

“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose parents live in Puerto Rico, called out Trump for his late response, and is releasing a new song next week as a fund-raiser for the recovery effort. Miranda said he’d “called every Puerto Rican I know” to sing on the recording.

And Jeffrey Wright invited Trump to the Puerto Rican Day parade.

The president appears only to be interested in providing Puerto Rico with federal aid in response to massive amounts of public criticism for his administration’s foot-dragging. And a few of the handful of tweets he’s sent out about Puerto Rico have referenced the debt it owes to Wall Street or the costs to rebuild.

Conditions in Puerto Rico are grim, despite what Trump and some of his team are saying.

The mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz — responding to Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke’s assertion that the administration’s response to the hurricane is a “good news story” — told CNN, “Maybe from where she’s standing it’s a good news story.”

“When you are drinking from a creek, it’s not a good news story. When you don’t have food for a baby, it’s not a good news story.”