The pallets of bedding, food and medical supplies sat wrapped in plastic and unused in a warehouse for more than two years while Puerto Ricans suffered through the aftermath of a devastating hurricane and a recent earthquake, and now their discovery has triggered a political firestorm.
Puerto Rico’s Gov. Wanda Vázquez on Sunday fired two more officials in the most recent development since anger broke out over a viral video showing unused emergency supplies allegedly leftover from Hurricane Maria aid sitting in a warehouse in the southern coastal city of Ponce where thousands have been in shelters since a recent 6.4 magnitude quake struck the island two weeks ago.
Housing Secretary Fernando Gil and Department of Family Secretary Glorimar Andújar were dismissed a day after the governor fired the director of Puerto Rico’s emergency management agency. Vázquez fired Carlos Acevedo, director of Puerto Rico’s Office of Emergency Management, hours after a Facebook video showed residents breaking into the warehouse to distribute supplies.
“There are thousands of people who made sacrifices to bring aid to the south and it’s unforgivable that resources have been kept in a warehouse,” the governor’s initial statement said.