Trump blasts Puerto Rican mayor for 'poor leadership' in hurricane relief crisis

Eli Rowe’s team of 12 delivered supplies to the San Juan Chabad as well as to vulnerable areas throughout Puerto Rico’s capital Sept. 25 2017. JTA

While President Trump touted the government's effort Friday, San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz blasted the lack of progress.

"People in Puerto Rico are suffering one of the one disasters in the history of that island", Sanders told CNN, also explaining he believed the president was acting differently towards the people of Puerto Rico, who are US citizens, than he was towards those suffering the effects of hurricanes in Florida and Texas. "10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job", Trump added. So far, FEMA has distributed more than 1.3 million meals. "This is one goal and it's to save lives".

"Everyone is talking about Maria", said Julianna Melendez, 36, while out at a bar in Guaynabo, near the capital San Juan. "That will help in terms of getting electricity both in transmission and distribution but they need a lot more help right now until they get on their feet", she said. Getting supplies to the US territory has been a significant challenge of disaster relief, with it, of course, being an island in the Atlantic, and requiring boats or planes in order to get deliveries. City employees are working 12-hour shifts, going door-to-door throughout the suburb of more than 100,000, taking a census on whether residents need water, ice, clothing or other basic necessities. "We are dying and you are killing us with your inefficiency".

"Actually, I was asking for help - I wasn't saying anything nasty about the president", Cruz said on MSNBC.

Trump spent much Saturday attacking Cruz on Twitter, accusing her of "poor leadership" and of coordinating with Democrats to push "fake news" about his administration's disaster response.

But with the status on the ground in Puerto Rico so dire, it seems like any help the island can get will be necessary, and waiving the Jones Act could certainly make it easier to get supplies to the USA territory, even if it wouldn't be enough to solve the crisis.

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Pulitzer Prize-winning "Hamilton" composer Lin-Manuel Miranda has begun a Twitter duel with President Trump - saying he's going "straight to hell" for the slow federal disaster response to Puerto Rico, where his father was born.

Away from Puerto Rico, the opening sketch also brought on Kate McKinnon as Attorney General Jeff Sessions and commented on Trump's attacks on NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem in protest of social and racial injustice. Workers and volunteers have worked throughout the week to get relief supplies from cargo ships in San Juan's port to families throughout the island. "You just did this for white people twice".

Mr. Trump temporarily waived the Jones Act earlier this week to ease the delivery of aid by sea to Puerto Rico.

Cruz's comments on Friday were in response to a senior USA official calling the disaster response in Puerto Rico "a good news story".

"She has been there once", Long said. I mean, I think theyre doing what they can, ” he said.

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