SAN JUAN – San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said on Saturday that the only goal after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico 10 days ago is to save lives and there is no reason to be distracted by anything else, after US President Donald Trump accused her of poor leadership.
In a first tweet, Trump said that Cruz, “who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump.”
“Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job,” Trump said in a second tweet.
In successive messages on Twitter, he recalled that despite “no electric, roads, phones, etc.,” the federal employees are doing an “amazing job.”
He also noted that he will travel to Puerto Rico next Tuesday with his wife Melania.
For her part, Cruz said on Saturday on Twitter that “the goal is one: saving lives,” adding that “this is the time to show our ‘true colors.’ We cannot be distracted by anything else.”
This Friday, Cruz rejected statements by various members of Congress and the Trump administration that the response of the United States following the disaster caused by Hurricane Maria has been quick and efficient.
She also criticized acting US Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, who on Thursday hailed the efforts of federal authorities to resolve the humanitarian crisis as “really 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. Dammit, this is not a good news story. This is a ‘people are dying’ story. It’s a life-or-death story,” Cruz said.
In contrast, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello avoided on Saturday the controversy between Trump and Cruz, and said at a press conference that the important thing now, more than a week after the hurricane struck, is to help out and get to work to bring the island back to normal.
Hurricane Maria left at least 16 people dead in Puerto Rico.