FDA warns of possible drug shortages following Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

Jose A. Rivera right and his brother Jose Ramon Rivera look over their destroyed plantain crops in Yabucoa Puerto Rico on Sunday. For as far as they could see every one of the 14,000 trees was down. “There is no more agriculture in Puerto Rico,”

'Apocalyptic' devastation in Puerto Rico; Island faces humanitarian crisis Governor says

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said the waiver will be in effect for 10 days and will cover all products being shipped to Puerto Rico, according to a release from the department.

The Jones Act is a century-old law that requires all goods shipped between US ports be carried on USA owned-and-operated ships and has been central to the criticism around the pace of the response to the crisis in Puerto Rico.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders announced on Twitter that Trump had authorized the Jones Act waiver at Rossello's request.

"The largest bottleneck is not getting goods to the island, but delivering goods once they arrive", Mr Allegretti added.

The death toll was not as bad as the scores killed by Hurricane Irma - Maria claimed more than 30 lives in the Caribbean, including at least 16 in Puerto Rico.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan says federal disaster relief accounts will get a boost of almost $7 billion dollars by the end of the week to help hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

The most powerful hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in almost 90 years, Maria swept across the island last Wednesday.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced the waiver of Jones Act, which is meant to expedite the delivery of needed relief supplies to Puerto Rico, in a tweet on Thursday morning.

Trump faced mounting calls to freeze the 97-year-old act, which requires products shipped between US ports to be moved by American-owned ships.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said he petitioned the White House on Wednesday night to temporarily lift the ban.

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Waiving restrictions on foreign vessels that carry cargo to Puerto Rico "could overwhelm the system, creating unnecessary backlogs and causing confusion on the distribution of critical supplies throughout the island,"' said Thomas Allegretti, the group's chairman. Critics have called the act anachronistic and argue that it is stalling recovery efforts in the badly damaged island territory that was hit by two massive storms in quick succession this month.

Here's what you need to know about the Jones Act.

In Washington, the Transportation Department on Thursday made $40 million in "quick release" Emergency Relief funds to help restore essential service on roads and bridges damaged by Maria throughout Puerto Rico.

Reports of isolated USA citizens struggling in the heat without electricity and running low on food and water have now spurred the Pentagon to throw resources into the relief effort even though they haven't been specifically requested by territorial officials. That means goods going from the mainland to Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska and Guam, or even from Texas to New England, have to travel on US ships, even if they're not the most economical transport or readily available.

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