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New York to file lawsuit against Trump for lack of assistance to Puerto Rico

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks to members of the media after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WHAM) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that the state will file a lawsuit against President Trump and the federal government in light of the damage from Hurricane Maria that struck Puerto Rico in September 2017.

The Governor's Office says the lawsuit will be filed against the federal government for failing to provide assistance to Puerto Rico and having an inadequate response to Hurricane Maria.

"President Trump never tried to help Puerto Rico. Florida got attention, Texas got attention, and Puerto Rico got the short end of the stick. That is not just wrong and unethical and despicable, it is also illegal," Governor Cuomo said. "We're going to work with Puerto Rican families and sue the President of the United States because New York is standing with Puerto Rico the way we said we would.

Governor Cuomo announced that a committee will lead the effort to file the lawsuit against the president and the federal government.

The main concerns are the three-week wait for federal helicopters to fly above Puerto Rico, along with the lack of funding, food, and water sent.

The Governor's Office also referred to relief time as unacceptable, comparing the 39 percent of federal applications for relief from victims of Harvey to the 28 percent for Maria, both after 87 days.

According to updated figures, nearly 3,000 people died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which makes Hurricane Maria one of the deadliest disasters to to hit the United States.

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