Musk: Tesla Can Fix Puerto Rico's Electricity Grid

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Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has offered his company's services as Puerto Rico struggles to reestablish power.

The island was hit hard by Hurricane Maria in September, resulting in a number of deaths and power to most of the island being knocked out, CNBC reported.

Musk wrote on Twitter Oct. 5 that Tesla has built power grids for small islands before, adding that there "is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too."

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello responded to Musk's suggestion on Oct. 6.

"Let's talk today; I will be in touch," Rossello tweeted.

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Musk answered that he would be happy to talk.

Experts say repairing the electricity grid will take several months.

The Washington Post reported on Oct. 6 that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been burying bad news about the progress of recovery work on the island. Fewer than one in eight Puerto Ricans currently have power, while barely half have access to water.

The Post noted that for some time, FEMA only published positive news on its website, including the number of federal workers on the ground.

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FEMA rejected any suggestion that it was trying to conceal the data.

"Our mission is to support the governor and his response priorities through the unified command structure to help Puerto Ricans recover and return to routines. Information on the stats you are specifically looking for are readily available” on the website maintained by the governor's office, FEMA spokesperson William Booher told the Post.

The Trump administration has been criticized for its handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. In a poll released on Oct. 4 and conducted by The Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, less than a third of respondents said they thought the government had handled it well.

Trump was photographed tossing paper towels into a crowd during his visit to Puerto Rico, an incident which the mayor of San Juan described as "terrible and abominable."

Florida-based professor Carlos A. Suarez Carrasquillo noted that Trump's visit took him to one of San Juan's more affluent suburbs, where the damage is not as bad as in other, more impoverished areas. Less than 10 minutes away, Suarez said, there were neighborhoods where people were cooking, bathing and living outdoors due to the damage.

"It implies that the president does not want to know or want the rest of the American people to see the scope of loss and misery," added Suarez. "It was a very sanitized visit where a president did not deliver aid or comfort in any kind of personal or emotionally meaningful way."

Sources: The Associated Press, CNBC, The Washington Post(2, 3) / Featured Image: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Puerto Rican National Guard/dvidshub.net via Wikimedia Commons, Raymond Piper/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

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