The Mayor of San Juan was horrified that the Homeland Security chief called the government’s response to Hurricane Maria ‘a good news story.’
In an interview with CNN, Mayor Carmen Cruz seemed astonished that DHS Secretary Elaine Duke seemingly told reporters about a positive aspect of the devastating hurricane.
Duke said: ‘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.’
San Juan Mayor Carmen Cruz was astonished that the Homeland Security chief called the government’s response to Hurricane Maria ‘a good news story’
Cruz responded the quote on the brink of tears saying: ‘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.’
‘When you have to pull people down from buildings – I’m sorry, that really upsets me and frustrates me. ‘
Cruz then invited Duke to come witness the devastation of the towns and reconsider her statement.
Frustated, she said: ‘Dammit, this is not a good news story. This is a ‘people are dying’ story. It’s a life-or-death story.’
Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke said Hurricane Maria’s impact on Puerto Rico was a good news story because it showed the government’s swift reaction to the tragedy
‘I’m sorry, that really upsets me and frustrates me’: Cruz said Duke’s comments about the government’s response to the devastation were negative
Duke made the comments about a ‘good news story’ the day President Donald Trump said he wished the press would treat the government’s response to Puerto Rico ‘fairly.’
The president returned to the issue of financing reconstruction on Puerto Rico on Friday.
He said the island has been ‘wiped out’ but that the government there must figure out what to do with the ‘tremendous amount of existing debt.’
He defended his administration’s disaster response Friday, but immediately returned to dollars and cents.
Yolanda Negron cleans up devastated home after hurricane Maria ravaged the island. The situation in the US territory has been compounded by a diesel fuel shortage and the lack of a working cellphone network
Hospital employees sort donated canned food for sheltered evacuees in Catano, Puerto Rico, on Thursday
He said Friday the rebuilding effort would be ‘one of the biggest effort’ but but said the Puerto Rican government will have to ‘work with us’ to figure out how to pay for it in light of prior obligations.
‘We’ve never seen a situation like this,’ Trump said, speaking before the National Association of Manufacturers, a powerful lobbying group, at the upscale Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C.
‘The electrical grid and other infrastructure were already in very, very poor shape. They were at their life’s end prior to the hurricanes and now virtually everything has been wiped out and we will have to really start all over again,’ the president said.