San Juan mayor tears into Trump DHS chief: ‘This is not a good news story’


San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz on Friday morning ripped into acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke for calling the government’s response to the devastation in Puerto Rico a “good news story.”

After hearing Duke’s comments, Cruz told CNN it was “irresponsible” to spin the island’s devastation so positively.

“Maybe from where she’s standing, it’s a good news story,” the mayor said. “When you’re drinking from a creek, it’s not a good news story. When you don’t have food for a baby, it’s not a good news story.”

{mosads}Cruz said that as the situation on the island continues to worsen, people are scrambling to find food, especially in rural areas where supplies are not able to reach as easily.

“Damnit, this is not a good news story,” she said. “This is a people-are-dying story.”

Democratic lawmakers and others have ripped President Trump’s response to the damage from Hurricane Maria, calling it inadequate. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have urged the administration to up its relief efforts.

The White House defended itself Thursday, blaming media coverage for giving the illusion that the response is slow.

“I understand the coverage, in some cases, is giving the appearance that we aren’t moving fast enough,” White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert told reporters.

“The people of Puerto Rico have every bit of support from President Trump that he gave to the citizens of every other state in this country.”

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló praised Trump’s strategy, saying that the president is “doing everything on his end” to help the situation in Puerto Rico.

“I can say that the president has been very diligent,” Rosselló said. “He has been essentially talking to us every day.” 

On Thursday, Trump temporarily waived the Jones Act, suspending shipping restrictions that have hindered the transfer of supplies to the island. Trump said he will travel to Puerto Rico on Tuesday.


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