Monday, 20 August, 2018

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz continues to advocate for Puerto Rico

Long time Jones Act opponent Senator John McCain Long time Jones Act opponent Senator John McCain
Rosalie Gross | 02 October, 2017, 00:52

Because many on the island don't have running water, Marines are taking salt water from the harbor and filtering it into drinkable water.

The island is now struggling to fix damage, restore basic services and maximise the impact of a federal aid effort which Donald Trump and his administration have trumpeted but which many critics of the president have called slow and politically motivated.

On Friday night, Cruz had begged for help, directly asking Trump to take charge.

Duke was speaking to reporters on the tarmac in San Juan before boarding a helicopter for an aerial look at the devastation. She drew a sharp rebuke from the city's mayor for saying Thursday that the federal relief effort is "a good news story".

"The electrical grid and other infrastructure were already in very, very poor shape, they were at their life's end prior to the hurricanes, and now virtually everything has been wiped out", Trump said. "That is why we are here". "They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort", the President said.

Cruz said, "this is not a good news story - this is a people are dying story".

Mr Trump is set to visit the island on Tuesday. He adds that the rebuilding effort is "starting from scratch". "What you see here with me is not the reality of the people of Puerto Rico".

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright may have been the most direct but he was hardly the only celebrity to blast Trump for somehow finding it appropriate to play politics with a national tragedy.

The acting US homeland security secretary is headed to Puerto Rico to see the devastation and meet local officials.

Those moves will likely be clouded by Duke's comments, which she will, nearly certainly, have to apologize for.

CORRECTION: This story has been revised throughout to correctly attribute all quotes to the interview subjects who said them.

Trump has come under fire in recent days for his slow response to the ongoing crisis in Puerto Rico, and has been criticized for appearing less attentive to the crisis in Puerto Rico than he was to Texas and Florida after those states were ravaged by hurricanes.

For an administration that needed a week - at least - of flawless execution to regain its footing on Maria and Puerto Rico, Duke's comments represent yet another stumble.

"People died [during Hurricane Katrina] because of a lack of action and prioritization of our federal government".

Trump has repeatedly responded to questions about Puerto Rico by saying it is an island.

Trump, at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf resort for the weekend, has phone calls scheduled for Saturday afternoon with Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long and Puerto Rico's Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. "Big decisions will have to be made as to the cost of its rebuilding!"

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Lady Gaga lead celebrities shaming President Donald Trump for his criticism of leaders and residents of devastated Puerto Rico on Saturday (30Sep17).

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