On Thursday, acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke called the Trump administration’s response to the disaster “really a good news story.” That prompted San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz to retort, “This is not a good news story. This is a people-are-dying story.” Cruz later pleaded for the world to come to Puerto Rico’s aid in an impassioned news conference.
Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz: “We are dying here. And I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out logistics for a small island of 100 miles by 35 miles long. … So I am asking the president of the United States to make sure somebody is in charge that is up to the task of saving lives.”
President Trump responded to Mayor Cruz on Saturday morning, tweeting from his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, “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. 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.” Trump later dedicated a trophy at the Presidents Cup golf tournament to hurricane victims. Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria drew widespread disbelief and condemnation. Many noted Trump used racially coded language to talk about Puerto Ricans, implying they are lazy. California Democratic Congressmember Ted Lieu tweeted, “Dear @realDonaldTrump: US citizens in Puerto Rico need water, food, oxygen tanks, medicine BUT NOT A GOLF TROPHY. You still don’t get it.” After headlines, we’ll go to Puerto Rico for the latest on the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.