On Wednesday, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz Soto praised Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) first responders for their decisive action in responding to the disaster in Puerto Rico left by Hurricane Maria.
Yet, Mayor Soto also criticized President Trump. “If we don’t get food and water into people’s hands, what we are going to see is something close to a genocide,” Mayor Soto said, “We are dying, and you (Trump) are killing us with inefficiency.”
Mayor Soto said this while standing in front of pallets of aid. As of Sept. 22, ten people had died in Puerto Rico as a result of the storm.
“I will do what I never thought I was going to do,” the Mayor said at the same press conference, “I am begging, begging anyone that can hear us, to save us from dying.”
According to The Atlantic, the power outages on the island are expected to continue for weeks or months.
A compounding factor in the crisis is that communication infrastructure has been damaged by the storm, limiting authorities’ knowledge of what is going on.
Roughly 85 percent of all of the island’s above-ground communication infrastructure has been destroyed. FEMA has said that another compounding issue is the geography of the island itself.
The mayor explained to ABC that she wanted President Trump to allow FEMA to “do more,” but neglected to mention what she needed the federal agency to do. She only mentioned that “red tape” needed to be cut. Mayor Soto complained that FEMA was looking for formal requests from municipalities. She argued they should watch the news.
“You can’t be saying, well, we haven’t had any formal requests from the municipalities. Really? Watch the news,” Mayor Soto said.
President Donald Trump has tweeted about the situation, and argues that his earlier tweets were characterized as being negative towards the first responders working in Puerto Rico.
“Despite the Fake News Media in conjunction with the Dems, an amazing job is being done in Puerto Rico. Great people!”
He blames the Mayor’s change of tune on pressure from news media and Democrats. “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,” Trump tweeted.
Trump further argued that the “poor leadership” in Puerto Rico wants “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 President also revealed over Twitter that he and First Lady Melania Trump will visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday. He hopes to also have time to stop at the US Virgin Islands.
One thing is certain — the recent string of hurricanes and other natural disasters has certainly left the Trump administration with a lot to deal with. Responding to disasters is never easy, especially given the sheer destruction wrought by the last few hurricanes in particular. While our president does everything he can to ameliorate the situation, the Left are using these tragedies to paint the president in a negative light — using the pain of innocent victims to push their political agenda.