San Juan mayor tells Trump to ‘get out of the way’ as storm bears down on Puerto Rico


San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a vocal critic of the White House, told President Trump to “get out of the way” as a tropical storm descends on Puerto Rico. 

“It seems like some people have learned the lessons of the past or are willing to say that they didn’t do right by us the first time and they’re trying to do their best. That is not the case with the president of the United States,” Cruz said on CNN on Tuesday.{mosads}

“We are not going to be concerned by, frankly, his behavior, his lack of understanding, and it is ludicrous. Three thousand Puerto Ricans did not open their eyes this morning because this racist man did not have it within him to do his job. So get out of the way, President Trump, and let the people who can do the job get the job done.” 

Cruz and Trump have had an acrimonious relationship, starting a feud shortly after Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma ravaged the island two years ago over who bungled the response. The president accused Cruz of “poor leadership,” while the mayor fired back, accusing the president of “looking for an excuse.” 

Trump has repeatedly doubled down on his comments, saying the federal government was overly generous in offering $92 billion in aid to the territory and that any hiccups in the island’s response are the fault of the Puerto Rican government. Cruz rebutted the claim, saying the island has received closer to $42 billion.

“We say to the president of the United States, ‘Will his lie end? Will that ever end? Will his racism and his vindictive behavior towards the people of Puerto Rico ever end?’” she said. “This is not how a president behaves. This is not how a human behaves in the face of adversity.” 

Cruz’s comments come after the Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday it plans to divert funds from nonimmigration agencies within the department, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund, to boost its capacities at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Despite the ongoing feud with Washington, Cruz said Tuesday that San Juan is much better prepared for the incoming storm, which is expected to be upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, telling CNN that hospitals are more secure and that shelters are better equipped with medical equipment and food. 

“In San Juan, we are much better prepared than two years ago. For example, all of our municipal hospitals and our nine clinics, which provide health services for all of our people, from San Juan and outside of San Juan, all of them now have generators. Our hospital, as far as we know, is the only hospital in Puerto Rico that has not one but two sets of generators that will make it run flawlessly, even if the power fails. That is something very, very good,” she said.

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