In his first visit to Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria’s landfall, President Trump met with local leaders and federal responders on Tuesday, shortly after landing at an Air Force base in Carolina, Puerto Rico, for a planned briefing on the island’s current situation.
During the briefing, Trump compared the casualties of the two major storms, suggesting that Katrina’s death toll of 1,833 made it more of a legitimate crisis than Hurricane Maria.
The president took the opportunity to laud himself and heap praise upon the federal government’s response to the disaster, quickly adding that Puerto Rico should be “very proud” of its low official death count.
U.S. President Donald Trump, sitting between Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello and first lady Melania Trump, sits down to a briefing on hurricane damage, at Muniz Air National Gurard Base in Carolina, Puerto Rico, U.S. October 3, 2017. (Photo Credit: Thomson Reuters).
Intent upon drawing stark distinctions between numbers—Trump added that only 16 people died in “Hurricane Maria” compared to the thousands killed “in a real catastrophe” like “Hurricane Katrina.”
“Sixteen versus in the thousands,” Trump said during his first visit to the island, after asking one of the officials what the death count was. “You can be very proud of your people and all of our people working together. Sixteen versus literally thousands. You can be very proud.”
Throughout his briefing, Trump downplayed his remarks about the devastation in Puerto Rico—where more than half of the people are without power, cellphone service, or running water, two weeks after the Category 4—Hurricane Maria made landfall, leaving within its trail sizeable infrastructure damage.
“We have gone all out for Puerto Rico,” Trump said during the televised briefing Tuesday. “It’s not only dangerous, it’s expensive.”
While Puerto Rico clearly needs much more aid — including help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to repair its damaged infrastructure — the president decided to focus on how much money it had already spent.
Trump praised the director of the FEMA, military commanders and a half-dozen members of his Cabinet who accompanied him to Puerto Rico.
Singling out Mick Mulvaney, his budget director, Trump said, “I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’re throwing our budget out of whack.”
Before leaving the White House on Tuesday, Trump told reporters that Ms. Cruz was now mostly satisfied.
“I think she’s come back a long way,” Trump said. “I think it’s now acknowledged what a great job we’ve done.” He asserted that the relief effort was as competent as those in Texas and Florida, and he added, “It’s actually a much tougher situation.”
Handing out packages of rice, with the “Arroz Rico” stamp, Trump said, “There’s a lot of love in this room, a lot of love.” Shortly after that remark, he tossed rolls of paper towels into the crowd.
President Trump tossed rolls of paper towels to storm victims at a church. (Photo Credit Doug Mills/the New York Times).
In later remarks Tuesday — while handing out flashlights— Trump insisted Puerto Ricans didn’t need flashlights, though much of the island is still without power, as he acknowledged to reporters just minutes before his briefing.
“The power grid, honestly, was devastated before the hurricanes even hit. And then the hurricanes hit and they wiped them out,” Trump said. “A lot of generators have been already brought to the island. Most of the hospitals are open — or at least partially open. But most of them now are open. And, again, the job that’s been done here is really nothing short of a miracle. It’s been incredible.”
Trump’s comments on Tuesday could be construed as somewhat of a distraction from his administration’s response efforts with Cruz. The San Juan mayor, criticized the president for his comments about Puerto Rico’s impact on the U.S. budget.
“It goes to prove the lack of sensibility,” she told CNN in an interview.
LeNora Millen 10-03-17
Simple Solutions to Combat Winter Skin Sensitivity
The winter season is here, and it’s important to get in the habit of taking care of your skin. Cold weather brings low humidity levels and dry air, which can suck the moisture from your skin, and without proper care, skin can become dry, cracked and irritated, causing discomfort.
This winter, focus on a regimen that helps protect and hydrate skin so you can spend time enjoying the benefits of winter like family game night, snow days and snuggling by the fire.
Prepare your family for cold weather with these simple tips that can be easily incorporated into your family’s daily routine, keeping skin feeling soft and healthy all winter long.
Hydrate Inside and Out. Staying hydrated during the hot, summer months is a given, but it is also important to remember that cold winter air can leave your skin parched. Use a humidifier to keep skin hydrated during the dry months and be sure to lather on moisturizer. Natural moisturizers like coconut oil and shea butter can act as protective barriers against harsh elements, sealing in moisture. In addition to hydrating on the outside, it is just as important to stay hydrated on the inside. By drinking water throughout the day, your skin can stay healthy and moisturized.
Switch to a Mild Laundry Detergent. Many common detergents can be abrasive to sensitive skin, especially when it is more vulnerable to irritation during the harsh winter months. Wash bed linens, towels and clothes with a mild detergent like all Free Clear year-round, especially during the winter months. As the No. 1 recommended detergent brand by dermatologists, allergists and pediatricians for sensitive skin, all Free Clear includes no dyes, fragrances or irritating residues. Using the power of stainlifters to fight tough stains, it is also safe for the whole family to use, keeping laundry clean while being gentle on skin.
Avoid Toxins, Specifically Allergens, and Irritants. Products that contain toxins, allergens and irritants should be avoided during months when skin is most sensitive. Choose moisturizers and skin care products that don’t contain common irritants, and opt for mild cleansers and moisturizers that are specifically labeled for sensitive skin. Castor oil is another moisturizer alternative that is natural and can be used on both the face and body.
Layer Up. Lock in moisture and protect your skin from wind, rain, and snow by wearing layers whenever you venture outside. The skin on your neck, face and hands is thinner than other areas of the body and therefore more sensitive to the effects of winter weather. Thermals, scarves and gloves can keep you warm and protect your skin from the cold, dry air. For those with sensitive skin, avoid synthetic fabrics and itchy materials like wool, and wash clothes with a dermatologist-recommended detergent like all Free Clear.
By implementing these best practices for skin sensitivity, you can minimize redness, dryness and discomfort to help skin stay healthy and glowing throughout the winter season. Visit all-laundry.com to learn more.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Tire Safety Tips for Winter When Temperatures Drop
The same temperature you can begin to see your breath at 45 F—is also when the all-season tires on your car can start to lose traction and grip.
As temperatures drop, drivers should remember that if you can see your breath, you should think about winter tires. Whether you’re planning a cross-country trek or simply driving to and from work daily, exposing your vehicle’s tires to colder weather could lead to potential trouble on the road.
Snow and ice may be fun to play in, but they make for dangerous driving conditions. Winter tires are built for cold-weather conditions and deliver improved starting, stopping and steering control in temperatures 45 F and below. The difference is the tread compound of winter tires, which stays soft and pliable in colder temperatures for superior traction. Add the tread design of winter tires with thousands of extra gripping edges and you get as much as a 25-50 percent increase in traction over all-season tires.
To help stay safe on the road this winter, the experts on tires and winter driving recommend following these four tire safety tips:
- Get ready now. It is important to replace all four of your vehicle’s all-season tires with winter tires if you regularly drive in temperatures 45 F or below, snow or no snow. Winter tires are made of a softer rubber that allows the tires to stay pliable and maintain better contact with the road through winter weather conditions.
- Don’t forget the wheels. Having a set of wheels specifically for your winter tires can save you money in the long run. Pairing a separate set of wheels with your winter tires can eliminate certain changeover costs and save your everyday wheels from the wear and tear brought on by ice, slush, snow, and salt during the winter months.
- Know your numbers. Check your tire pressure at least once a month to make sure tires are at the appropriate inflation level. Temperature changes affect tire pressure – for every 10 degrees of temperature change, tire air pressure changes 1 pound per square inch. Low tire pressure can lead to decreased steering and braking control, poor gas mileage, excessive tire wear and the possibility of tire failure. Also, don’t forget to check your spare tire.
- Rotate, rotate, rotate. To help increase tread life and smooth out your ride, rotate your tires every 6,000 miles or sooner if irregular or uneven wear develops.
Your safety is important, that’s why drivers should make it a point to beat the rush by getting winter ready before the first snowstorm or cold streak of the season hits.
Photo: Getty Images
Source: Discount Tire
Medicare Takes Aim at Medical Identity Theft: Protecting Seniors From Fraud
Criminals are increasingly targeting people age 65 or older for personal identity theft. In 2014 alone, there were 2.6 million such incidents among seniors, according to the Department of Justice.
A growing offshoot of identity theft is healthcare fraud, which can result when someone unlawfully uses another person’s Medicare number. Medical identity theft can lead to inaccuracies in medical records, which in turn can result in delayed care, denied services and costly false claims.
That’s why Medicare works with the Department of Justice, taking aim squarely at would-be thieves. In the largest law enforcement action against criminals fraudulently targeting the Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare programs, 412 people around the country, including 115 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, were charged in 2017 with bilking U.S. taxpayers out of $1.3 billion.
New Medicare Card for 2018. (Video Courtesy of YouTube)
The next big fraud-fighting push is well underway — and its focus is protecting the personal information of senior citizens by removing their Social Security numbers from Medicare cards.
People with Medicare don’t need to take any action to get a new Medicare card. Beginning in April 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will mail out newly designed Medicare cards to the 58 million Americans with Medicare. The cards will have a new number that will be unique for each card recipient. This will help protect personal identity and prevent fraud because identity thieves can’t bill Medicare without a valid Medicare number. To help with a seamless transition to the new cards, providers will be able to use secure lookup tools that will support quick access to the new card numbers when needed.
Healthcare fraud drives up costs for everyone, but healthcare consumers can be an effective first line of defense against fraud. Follow these tips to help protect yourself:
- Treat your Medicare number like a credit card.
- When the new card comes in the mail next year, destroy your old card and make sure you bring your new one to your doctors’ appointments.
- Be suspicious of anyone offering early bird discounts, limited time offers or encouraging you to act now for the best deal. That’s an indicator of potential fraud because Medicare plans are forbidden from offering incentives.
- Be skeptical of free gifts, free medical services, discount packages or any offer that sounds too good to be true.
- Only give your Medicare number to doctors, insurers acting on your behalf or trusted people in the community who work with Medicare, like your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
- Report suspected instances of fraud.
- Check your Medicare statements to make sure the charges are accurate.
- Don’t share your Medicare number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by telephone, email or approaches you in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance. Medicare will never contact you uninvited and request your Medicare number or other personal information.
- Don’t let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare number.
- Don’t allow anyone, except your doctor or other Medicare providers, to review your medical records or recommend services.
- Don’t let anyone persuade you to see a doctor for care or services you don’t need.
- Don’t accept medical supplies from a door-to-door salesman.
Learn more about how you can fight Medicare fraud at Medicare.gov/fraud, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You can also visit a local SHIP counselor, who can provide free, one-on-one, non-biased Medicare assistance.
With a common sense approach to protecting health information, senior citizens can be effective partners in fighting Medicare fraud.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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