People sweep mud from inside an affected business in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Comerio, Puerto Rico.

Image: RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP/Getty Images

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Donald Trump blames Puerto Rico’s continuing struggles on “poor leadership.” Pictures tell a very different story.

While the president sunk to an inexcusable new low on Saturday, images coming out of the storm-ravaged U.S. territory show us what’s really going on. It is much as San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz described it: “This is a ‘people are dying’ story.”

With a non-existent power grid and completely decimated infrastructure, the people of Puerto Rico are actively suffering as you read this on Sept. 30, 2017. There’s no end in sight, either, as fixes for even the most basic functions of life in the 21st century — electricity, and everything it provides — are said to be many months away.

The scenes pictured below were all captured at the tail end of the week, and they offer a look at an environment that is a long way off from restoring even the semblance of normalcy. Even after the storm, some residents still hope to evacuate while others try to pick up the pieces of a shattered existence.

Nothing about this situation is normal. Trump’s politicizing of a humanitarian relief effort is troubling enough, but to see and hear those words while photos like these still surface every day… it’s almost too much to bear.

This, right here, is what’s happening in Puerto Rico just over a week after Maria. Take it all in. But don’t take too long. These people need help. Do what you can.

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