San Juan Mayor Carmen Yul n Cruz slammed President Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria as Puerto Rico reached the 100-day mark since the hurricane.
Cruz told ABC News that Trump was “disrespectful” to the island’s U.S. citizens in his approach to the disaster and recovery process.
“He was disrespectful to the Puerto Rican people, he was disrespectful to the American people who were leaving their homes to come help us here,” Cruz said. “Where he needed to be a commander in chief, he was a disaster-in-chief.”
“President Trump does not embody the values of the good-hearted American people that have [made] sure that we are not forgotten,” she added.
Maria swept through Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, wiping out power on the island and leaving thousands without clean drinking water.
Months later, a large portion of the electrical grid is still not up and running. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told ABC News that it may take until May to have power fully restored.
Trump and Cruz butted heads throughout the immediate aftermath of Maria. As Cruz and other leaders put pressure on Trump to increase the amount of federal aid to Puerto Rico, Trump attacked her on Twitter, saying she had “poor leadership ability” and suggesting that Puerto Rico was to blame for the destruction.
“They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort,” Trump tweeted.
The Trump administration faced major backlash for its response to the hurricane, which many said was less coordinated, slower and shorter than the aid given to Florida and Texas in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The president also told Puerto Rican officials on a visit to the island that the cost associated with hurricane relief had thrown the U.S. budget “a little out of whack.”
Though the official death toll from the hurricane was 64 people, analysis of deaths that may have been caused indirectly by the hurricane has found that the actual count may be well over 1,000. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossell earlier this month ordered a review and recount of deaths.
“We owe it to the memory of those people to know,” Cruz told ABC News. “And we owe it to the transformation of Puerto Rico: why they died, and how we can ensure that this does not happen again.”
Source: The Hill (Avery Anapol)
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