By now we know that with Trump, EVERYTHING –even a natural disaster– is about him.
Last night on CNN, the Mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulín Cruz wore a black shirt that read:
“Help Us, We Are Dying.”
As she told Anderson Cooper,
“People are drinking out of creeks here in San Juan. You have people in buildings and they’re becoming caged in their own buildings — old people, retired people that don’t have any electricity.
We’re dying here. We truly are dying here. I keep saying it: SOS. If anyone can hear us; if Mr. Trump an hear us, let’s just get it over with and get the ball rolling.“
In a tweet this morning Trump took aim at her and Puerto Rico,
“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.“
Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria rammed into Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm, millions in the US commonwealth remain without electricity and water, and limited access to gas and cash. At least 16 people have died as a result of the storm.
Mayor Cruz pushed back on Friday against acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke who said earlier that the government’s response in Puerto Rico,
“is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people.“
“It’s not a good story when people are dying, starving, thirsty, when people can’t go back to work. I don’t know who in their right mind would say this is a good story to tell.“
Duke, who traveled to Puerto Rico on Friday, said she was referring to how well everyone is working together.
“The end of my statement about good news was, it was good news that the people of Puerto Rico, the many public servants of the US and the government of Puerto Rico are working together and … it’s nice to see communities together trying to recover and support each other.“
Cruz said there’s a disconnect between the federal government plan and what’s happening on the ground.
“If you register for FEMA on the Internet, you’re OK. Well, we don’t have any Internet. We barely have phones. We don’t have power anywhere… this is not standard operating procedure. Everything has just gone away so you have to improvise.“
According to CNN,
Cruz said she and her family are staying at the Coliseum, along with more than 600 people seeking shelter there, sleeping in cots and eating the same food as everyone else after her house flooded.
For many in Puerto Rico, trying to get the basics like fuel has become a grueling, all-day affair.
About 675 of the island’s roughly 1,110 gas stations were working as of Friday evening, according to the Puerto Rican government’s website for information on the recovery.
In Loíza, residents waited for more than 10 hours for gas. The town’s deputy mayor, Luis Escobar summed it up as a chain that has been broken: “No fuel, no work, no money.”
Without gas or transport, people can’t get to work. Without work, there is no money to buy necessities.
After spending an entire day waiting for fuel, the following days are spent trying to get food and other basic supplies, residents say.
There’s also a cash scarcity. Many of Puerto Rico’s businesses, supermarkets and gas stations will accept only cash because credit card systems are down.
At least half of all bank branches remain shuttered, in part because they can’t get enough armored trucks with gas, or truck drivers, to deliver the cash safely. Roughly 90 open bank branches are limiting the amount people can withdraw per day, the governor said Friday, to ensure everyone can get some cash.
Despite all of the difficulties, Cruz said she had faith in the American people:
“I know what the US heart is all about. You are intelligent, daring people, so I just don’t understand why things have become so complicated and the logistics are so insurmountable.“
HERE ARE SOME WAYS YOU CAN HELP:
Hand In Hand
The Benefit for Hurricane Relief telethon raised more than 55 million so far for victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. You can also text GIVE to 80077 to donate $25.
American Red Cross
Mexican Red Cross
The Salvation Army
Puerto Rican Family Institute
Save The Children
San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz: “There’s a disconnect between what the plan says and what is really happening” https://t.co/2FL3khoaJa
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) September 30, 2017
(Photo, YouTube: via CNN)