Fitchburg (WKOW) -- More than a week after two devastating hurricanes slammed into Puerto Rico, millions are still waiting for help from the United States. And that has one local man with ties to the island frustrated with the government's response.
“Honestly, there's light racism at play,” said Fitchburg resident Joe Maldonado.
Maldonado and his family have been monitoring the crisis in Puerto Rico very closely.
“I try to check in as often as I can,” he said.
The U.S. territory is still reeling -- and in need of aid -- after being hit by two devastating hurricanes.
Maldonado has family on the island who are still without power.
“I have families from two different cities. One side of my family is from a town called Utuado. And Utuado is smack dab in the middle of the island in a valley,” he said. “It was one of the worst hit by the hurricane.”
He said the Trump administration isn't moving quickly enough to get help to those who need it.
“I think the response has been slow. And it's been unnecessarily marred by ego.”
Maldonado believes the U.S. response to the crisis in Puerto Rico is much different than other recent disasters.
“Because Puerto Rico is 3 million people of color who have always been viewed in an inferior way to other Americans.”
At a time like this when the island and the people are in need of critical help, He said it isn't constructive for the president to wage in a Twitter war with local officials.
“It's not constructive. But this is a pattern that we've seen since his presidency, unfortunately,” Maldonado said.
“I have no time for small politics, for comments that really don't add to the situation here,” said San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz.
If you're interested in contributing to the Puerto Rico relief effort, a donation page has been set up.