Critics say Trump too focused on NFL amid Puerto Rico crisis

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RONKONKOMA -

Some Puerto Ricans on Long Island are criticizing President Donald Trump's response to the crisis in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. 

More than 3 million people are still without power, and many of them are without access to food or water. 

Critics say he has been too focused on protesting players in the National Football League, and not on helping fellow Americans in need.   

"I would've liked to have seen him visit Puerto Rico already, being that we have 3 million basically American citizens without electricity," says Roy Pelaez, owner of Island Empanada restaurant. 

Pelaez has several cousins and an aunt in Puerto Rico. He organized a fundraiser to help the people there. 

Pelaez says President Trump's attention on the NFL controversy is misplaced. 

"That's really a subject that should be put on the backburner while Puerto Rico is a priority right now," he says. 

The president is also coming under fire for a series of tweets in which he seemed to put the blame partly on Puerto Rico.

Critics were quick to respond.

"I feel offended and insulted to see the type of tweet from the president blaming the people of Puerto Rico for a natural disaster and then the public debt. We are better than that, and I expect more from our president," Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY). 

Officials say many parts of Puerto Rico are not yet capable of hosting a presidential visit, which is planned for Tuesday of next week. 

President Trump has said he's made additional disaster assistance available to people on the island.

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