San Juan Mayor: Puerto Rico Response Was A 10 If It’s ‘Out Of A Scale of 100’

JUAN LUIS MARTINEZ/GDA/El Nuevo Dia/Puerto Rico

While she admits that the federal response has “stepped up” in Puerto Rico in the past week, the mayor of San Juan is still pleading for help in the hurricane recovery and relief efforts and criticizing federal response efforts.

Appearing on CNN Friday — after the governor of Puerto Rico paid a visit to Washington Thursday to meet with President Donald Trump, who rated the U.S. response in Puerto Rico as a “10” — San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz gave a tongue-in-cheek endorsement of Trump’s assessment.

“If it’s a 10 out of a scale of 100, of course, it’s a failing grade,” she said when asked about Trump’s assessment. “FEMA representatives have admitted that they really haven’t been able to canvas most of just — less than 2 percent of the people that have lost their roofs in their homes. FEMA administrators have admitted that they’re still in a recovery side and even though they have stepped up their game, and I have to say that in the last week, they have stepped up their game, it still isn’t enough.”

She said she thinks Trump “lives in an alternative reality world that only he believes the things that he’s saying.” When asked about what rating she would give the federal response she said “one.”

“The administration has been unresponsive. They go back and forth. The President first says Katrina was a real disaster and yesterday says, ‘this is worse than Katrina.’ … There are still place in Puerto Rico where food has not gotten there,” she said.

Cruz and Trump have been at odds for weeks. In the aftermath of the hurricane, Cruz appeared on numerous cable news shows, asking for more resources for relief efforts. Trump took her requests personally and lashed out, criticizing her leadership and blaming Puerto Rico for the devastation they faced on their poor infrastructure and debt.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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