San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz criticized President Donald Trump after he claimed his administration’s efforts in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria “is one of the best jobs that has ever been done.”
“If he thinks the death of 3,000 people os [sic] a success God help us all,” Cruz said in part.
Success? Federal response according to Trump in Puerto Rico a success? If he thinks the death of 3,000 people os a success God help us all.
— Carmen Yulín Cruz (@CarmenYulinCruz) September 11, 2018
She added: “Can you imagine what he thinks failure looks like?”
Pres Trump thinks loosing 3,000 lives is a success. Can you imagine what he thinks failure looks like?
— Carmen Yulín Cruz (@CarmenYulinCruz) September 12, 2018
A George Washington University study published last month revised the island’s official death toll to 2,975 people, many of whom died due to lack of aid, electricity, water, and access to medical care. The Trump administration shuffled its feet in response to the disaster and was savaged for offering aid remarkably quickly to the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma by comparison. Many joined the San Juan mayor in slamming the president.
45 is a monster. Of course he would say that the US response in Puerto Rico was great. Tell that to the over 3000 + Puerto Ricans who lost their lives. What continues to happen in Puerto Rico is mass human rights violations.
— Rosa A. Clemente (@rosaclemente) September 11, 2018
The man takes glee in the suffering of others. It is disgusting that everything concerning him is Biggest, Best, Worst, Etc. He's actually hoping Florence is even worse!!
Puerto Rico needs to join the United States, get the representation you deserve & help swing Congress.
— Nov 6 – Vote 'D' for Democracy OR 'R' for Russia (@DianaMiller5) September 11, 2018
Yes but but PR lives are not as valuable as US lives … oh wait…isnt PR a US Territory? Never mind.
— CryptoCrusader (@crusaderl8) September 12, 2018
I’d like for someone to ask him why he considers it a success.
— Peanut (@leopard73seal) September 12, 2018
My kindness and deep respect, but our very sorry excuse for a president thinks he has never failed. Neck deep in the muck and he thinks he's winning. People are dying and he thinks it's a win.
— M A K (@MAK7591) September 12, 2018
Trump responded soon after, giving his administration “A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida,” adding that they “did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico.” He also called Cruz “incompetent.”
We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan). We are ready for the big one that is coming!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 12, 2018
The Trump administration was plagued by scandals related to its response to the storm, however, as Second Nexus pointed out yesterday:
The awarding of the multimillion dollar electrical restoration contract to a company with no disaster experience that belonged to a friend of a cabinet member brought allegations of corruption and cronyism. The official death toll remains unresolved. And getting into Twitter feuds with both the Governor of Puerto Rico and the mayor of San Juan hurt the Trump administration’s public image.
The president was also derided as callous and insensitive for an appearance during which he tossed paper towels into a crowd of hurricane victims.
— FOX 4 NEWS (@FOX4) October 3, 2017
A POLITICO investigation found the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Harvey was “faster and greater, at least initially” than its response to Hurricane Maria:
No two hurricanes are alike, and Harvey and Maria were vastly different storms that struck areas with vastly different financial, geographic and political situations. But a comparison of government statistics relating to the two recovery efforts strongly supports the views of disaster-recovery experts that FEMA and the Trump administration exerted a faster, and initially greater, effort in Texas, even though the damage in Puerto Rico exceeded that in Houston.