President Trump bristled at criticism of his administration’s slow response to the disaster that Hurricane Maria inflicted on Puerto Rico, lashing out on Twitter against San Jose’s frontline mayor, report Dennis J Bernstein and Randy Credico.
By Dennis J Bernstein and Randy Credico
The federal response to Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico has come under harsh criticism, including President Trump’s delay in even recognizing the extent of the catastrophe and then his foisting blame on San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz Soto, who literally has been waist-deep in working against the flood.
“We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy,” Mayor Cruz said Friday at a news conference, directed at Trump. As a contrast to the undelivered promise of federal aid, she lauded the donations from major corporations, including 200,000 pounds of food donated by Goya.
In response, Trump angrily blamed the Mayor for the failure to organize and activate a clean-up on the local level. “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They … want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job. … The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump.”
The Trump administration’s slow response to the Puerto Rico clean-up is being compared to the breakdown in President George W. Bush’s response after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans in 2005.
Meanwhile, the island is still struggling to meet even basic needs, with the electric grid for the entire island hobbled and cell phone service barely operating, leaving many residents unable to reach emergency workers.
“This is what we got last night,” Mayor Cruz said on Friday at the press conference: “four pallets of water, three pallets of meals and 12 pallets of…