“I don’t wanna be pessimistic, I just want to be realistic: The images don’t do justice to what really happened in Puerto Rico. It looks like they nuked us,” Martin said. “Regardless of what people say, right now Puerto Rico is still struggling, and I don’t see light at the tunnel.”
Martin added that he was returning to the island on Sunday with a FedEx plane filled with basic necessities for those still recovering from Hurricane Maria. Martin also thanked Ellen viewers for assisting in his YouCaring relief efforts, which saw its donations increase from $200,000 to $1.8 million following his last appearance on the show.
Martin then shared video from his visit to the hurricane-ravaged island, including the massive amount of damage Puerto Rico experienced. In one town Martin visited, over a thousand homes were destroyed by the storm.
Martin also met with San Juan mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who challenged the U.S. government’s relief efforts; her criticism of the government’s response sparked a series of vicious tweets from Donald Trump. Lin-Manuel Miranda and DeGeneres were among the celebrities to come to Cruz’s defense on social media.
“The governor of Puerto Rico said yesterday it will cost us $90 billion to bring Puerto Rico back to where it was,” Martin said, adding that every dollar that goes to his YouCaring page “will make a difference” in helping the island recover.
Since Martin’s latest Ellen appearance, the donations have grown to over $2.1 million.