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FEMA chief on San Juan mayor: We 'filter' out political noise

FEMA chief on San Juan mayor: We 'filter' out political noise
© Getty Images

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Sunday said FEMA has "filtered out" ongoing criticism about the agency's response to hurricane relief in Puerto Rico from San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, calling it "political noise."

“We filtered out the mayor a long time ago. We don’t have time for the political noise,” FEMA administrator Brock Long told ABC News when asked about early morning tweets by Cruz.

“Power collapses in San Juan hospital with 2 patients being transferred out. Have requested support from @FEMA_Brock NOTHING! @cnnbrk,” Cruz wrote.

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“Power collapses in San Juan hospital with 4 patients now being transferred out. Have requested support from FEMA. NOTHING! @DavidBegnaud,” she wrote in a separate tweet. 

Cruz’s tweets come as the Trump administration faces scrutiny over its response to Puerto Rico, with critics saying it's been slower than the response to states in the mainland that were also battered by hurricanes this season. Cruz has been a vocal critic. 

But Long insisted that the agency is focused on the recovery and said there will be a “greater conversation” with Congress about rebuilding the United States territory.

“As far as the political noise, we filter that out, keep our heads down and continue to make progress and push forward restoring essential functions for Puerto Rico,” he said.

Long also noted that almost 85 percent of FEMA is deployed after the series of hurricanes that have hit the United States, most recently Hurricane Nate, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm and is moving through the South.