NBC News is opening a news bureau in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to cover the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, according to TV Newser.
The network will rent a house and base their news crew there so it can have a “full-time presence” as the island recovers from the devastation and destruction from the Category 5 hurricane that hit the U.S. territory last month.
“The devastating effects of Hurricane Maria and the rebuilding of Puerto Rico are critically important stories that must continue to be told,” NBC News President Noah Oppenheim told TV Newser. “By establishing a presence on the ground in San Juan for the foreseeable future, NBC News is deepening our commitment to reporting on this national tragedy, and what will hopefully be Puerto Rico’s full recovery.”
The network has not named a correspondent to run the bureau, but reporters Gabe Gutierrez, Gadi Schwartz, Tammy Leitner, as well as John Torres, Mariana Atencio and Ron Mott have been reporting from Puerto Rico since the storm hit.
President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Thursday that the federal government can’t stay in Puerto Rico to help with recovery efforts “forever.”
At a press briefing on Thursday, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said the U.S. government “will stand with those American citizens in Puerto Rico until the job is done.”
“The minute you go anywhere as a first responder — and this would apply, certainly, to the military — you are trying very hard, working very hard to work yourself out of a job,” Kelly said.
“There will be a period in which — we hope sooner rather than later — to where the U.S. military and FEMA, generally speaking, can withdraw because then the government and the people of Puerto Rico are recovering sufficiently to start the process of rebuilding,” he said. “So this country, our country will stand with those American citizens in Puerto Rico until the job is done.”
Kelly stood by Trump’s tweet, and said the president was referring to the U.S. military response to the hurricane. “The tweet about FEMA and DOD — read: military — is exactly accurate. They’re not going to be there forever, and the whole point is to start to work yourself out of a job and then transition to the rebuilding process,” Kelly said.
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