Dear Commons Community,
Donald Trump yesterday took to twitter yesterday to attack San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz for calling on the President to step-up the federal response to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. Cruz said on Friday:
“We are dying here, and I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out logistics for a small island of 100 miles by 35 miles,” Cruz said Friday. “Mayday! We are in trouble.”
As reported in The Huffington Post and other media:
“Cruz has made several emotional pleas this week to the media, tearfully begging for the government to provide more aid to the islands residents and for private citizens to make calls to Congress or to donate money or time.
Cruz tried to paint a picture of the island’s devastation: She described people who were forced to drink from streams and dehydrated senior citizens who were trapped in sweltering apartment buildings which she called, “human cages.”
Trump responded to Cruz’s cries for help in the way he typically does when he reads something that makes his administration look bad: He launched a Twitter rant against Cruz and then blamed “fake news.”
“The goal is one: Saving lives,” Cruz tweeted in response.
“This is the time to show our ‘true colors.’ We cannot be distracted by anything else.”
By nearly all accounts, Cruz’s depiction of Puerto Rico’s need for more aid is clear. As of Friday evening, 95 percent of the Puerto Rico’s population was still without power, and more than half of the island had no access to drinking water, according to the Department of Defense. News reporters on the scene describe dwindling diesel fuel supply and struggling hospitals that are relying on generators to function.
Rescuers have yet to reach barrios, or neighborhoods, in the center of the island, Jaime Barlucea, mayor of Adjuntas, said during a Friday news conference in San Juan.
“We took matters in our own hands since day one, because communication with the central government is really hard,” Barlucea said. “We’ve had landslides. We’re trying to reach those who have not been reached.”
But instead of focusing on providing aid to the U.S. territory, Trump is trying to peddle Puerto Rico’s devastation and dire need for help as a direct attack from all of the groups that he’s deemed the opposition, from “fake news” to the Democrats and, now, the “poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan.”
A dire situation made worse by Trump’s bombastic, knee-jerk reactions!