CBS News’ David Begnaud has confirmed with a senior official at FEMA that these viral images shared to Facebook earlier in the week do indeed show “what may be millions of water bottles” that were sent to Puerto Rico by the U.S. federal government and then never delivered to those in need by local authorities:

According to Begnaud, a senior official at FEMA confirmed “that the water was brought to the island last year and that it was transferred and distributed — given to the central government of Puerto Rico. Again FEMA brought the water to the island and gave it to the central government of Puerto Rico,  specifically to the general service administration. It’s unclear at that point what the GSA as it’s known did. Clearly they didn’t do enough.”

His video report here:

Now, this doesn’t even appear to be any secret. Activists are responding to Begnaud that they’ve known about the water just sitting on the runway since 2018:

Chef José Andrés, who was on Puerto Rico helping cook and distribute food after the hurricane, said he even had to buy water because the Puerto Rico’s government wouldn’t give these bottles to him. He’s also calling for Gov. Ricardo Rossello to order an independent investigation:

This is an important development as the president was roundly criticized yesterday for saying the federal government did a “great job” responding to the storm:

Trump is responding to San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz who was highly critical of his comments. We actually think failure looks like a few million bottles of water just sitting on that runway:

And Puerto Rico’s governor also took a subtle swipe at the president yesterday:

Listen, 3000 dead Americans is not acceptable. But the media is giving the local authorities a near total pass on their actions both before and after Maria devastated the island. Be fair, because just blaming Trump for what was an incredibly difficult logistical problem to solve is just not accurate.

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