Homenews

Desperate San Juan Mayor takes to Twitter after Trump administration ignores requests for help

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San Juan’s Mayor Carmen Cruz said she sees “no hope [on] the horizon” for Puerto Rico — despite President Trump celebrate the recovery effort and engaging on a victory tour.

By official estimates, just under 12 percent of power is restored on the island. Even drinking water in many areas remains limited: just over half of customers reliant on Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) have potable water.

Mayor Cruz said the federal government’s response has been slow, inadequate, or downright nonexistent. She said FEMA had offered “no response” after a hospital requested aid.

Mayor Cruz repeatedly tweeted “WE NEED WATER!” throughout the early hours of the Sunday. She shared photos of volunteers and continue to plea for help, saying authorities in the federal government  “do not want to help.”

FEMA Administrator Brock Long confirmed the agency was ignoring Cruz’s “noise.” He told This Week “[w]e filtered out the mayor a long time ago.”

Cruz’s comments follow President Donald Trump’s self-congratulatory assessment of his administration’s performance in Puerto Rico, and a renewed round of insults about Cruz’s work on the island. He sat down with Mike Huckabee for an interview, where the host lobbed questions softer than the paper towel rolls Trump tossed into crowds of people in Puerto Rico.

“They had these beautiful, soft towels. Very good towels,” the president told Huckabee (whose daughter is the president’s press secretary). “And also when I walked in, the cheering was incredible,” he said.

He told Huckabee that Cruz “did a very poor job,” adding that “She’s not a capable person,” he said.

Trump said the media should have blamed Cruz rather than criticizing his efforts. 

The president feels the recovery is going well: In the same interview with Huckabee, he spoke favorably about the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Puerto Rico and the hurricane recovery in Texas and Florida because they had given him a sense of purpose and made him personally feel good.

“In one sense, you hate to see it,” he told Huckabee. “In another sense, you feel you can do a good job. You’re really helping people. So it makes you feel good.”

The president has not yet responded to Mayor Cruz’ most recent assessment of Puerto Rico and the response from the U.S. government. The White House press pool said he was golfing at another of his properties on Saturday.

This story has been updated to include FEMA Administrator Brock Long’s comments on the agency’s response to Mayor Cruz.

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