A long line of people waiting to get food supplies from a supermarket in Puerto Rico on Friday. (Photo: @reggie_lee1/Twitter)
Carmen Yulin Cruz slams DHS acting secretary for dismissing concerns about Puerto Rico’s dire situation
By Julia Conley / 09.29.2017
The mayor of San Juan expressed shock Friday that the Trump administration believes Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria is “a good news story.”
“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,” said Carmen Yulin Cruz in an interview with CNN. “Damnit, this is not a good news story. This is a people-are-dying story.”
Hope is reportedly running out for many on the storm-ravaged island, with 44 percent of the commonwealth’s 3.4 million residents without drinking water, many waiting for food to be delivered by relief workers as their rations dwindle, and 97 percent of the population living without electricity. According to some estimates, power may not be fully restored for up to six months.
Still, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Drew told reporters on Thursday that she’s “very satisfied” with the progress being made more than a week after Maria hit.
I know it’s a hard storm to recover from but the amount of progress that’s been made, and I really would appreciate any support that we get. I know it is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane.
Sixteen people have died in the aftermath of the storm. Drew’s comments followed reports that thousands of shipping containers had been sitting in the hot sun on San Juan’s docks, filled with water and food that wasn’t getting to residents due to logistical mismanagement and a lack of diesel fuel needed to transport the supplies.
The Pentagon appointed Brigadier General Richard Kim on Thursday to begin overseeing relief efforts in Puerto Rico, following criticism from Democrats as well as Retired Lieutenant General Russel Honore, who led recovery efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. FEMA has asked military officials to begin clearing roads in order to expedite deliveries of emergency supplies and food.
But many critics on social media noted that President Donald Trump set the tone of the lackluster federal response throughout the week.