San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz is shutting down White House claims that the federal government is doing all it can to support Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria completely devastated the U.S. territory over a week ago.
Cruz slammed Elaine Duke, acting secretary of Homeland Security, over her Thursday comments, which lauded the “amazing” federal response to the disaster.
“I know it’s a hard storm to recover from,” Duke told reporters outside the White House. “But I know it is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane.”
But the situation continues to be dire as people in need await aid deliveries, said Cruz, who was shocked and appalled by Duke’s statement.
“Maybe from where she’s standing it’s a good news story,” Cruz said on CNN’s “New Day” Friday. “When you are drinking from a creek, it’s not a good news story.”
“I’m sorry, but that really upsets me and frustrates me,” she continued, holding back tears. “Frankly, it’s an irresponsible statement. … Damn it, this is not a good news story. This is a people are dying story. This is a life or death story. … This is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen because people are not getting food and water.”
“If I could scream it a lot more louder ― it’s not a good news story when people are dying when they don’t have dialysis, and when the generators aren’t working and the oxygen is not providing for them. Where is there good news here?”
It’s been more than a week since Maria ripped through Puerto Rico as a powerful Category 5 hurricane ― the strongest storm to hit the island in over 80 years. There have been at least 16 Maria-related deaths on Puerto Rico, though experts said they expect the death toll to rise as recovery efforts continue.
Let’s get it done. … Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Isn’t that the American way of…