A number of Americans are struggling to survive without basic necessities a week after Maria ripped Puerto Rico apart. Relief efforts have been different than those in Texas and Florida, prompting Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to step in.
The Shark Tank investor lent the team's plane to point guard J.J. Barea, who is from Puerto Rico, so he can fly water, food and other supplies to the island, according to ESPN. Barea and his wife Viviana Ortiz left on Monday this week. The couple also set up a relief fund for victims, and have so far raised more than $140,000.
Maria was a Category 4 hurricane with winds topping 155 miles per hour, leaving the island on the brink of a "humanitarian crisis," Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo A. Rosselló said. At least 16 people have died as a result of the storm and about 60 percent of the island is without water. Suggestions have been made that relief efforts for Puerto Rico have been less aggressive than those for Florida and Texas, which were also ravaged by hurricanes in September, but Republican lawmakers pushed back on those claims.
Cuban's gesture is a bold example of how others can stand united and lend aid where it is needed. That display of leadership is likely to fuel rumors that he's is considering a presidential run in 2020. The billionaire has only teased his possible political aspirations, including telling ESPN on Tuesday that there's a 10 percent chance he'll run.
"Just what happens in this country [will influence the decision]," Cuban said on ESPN. "If there's a situation where I feel that I can provide the best answer, then yeah, I'll do it."