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As San Juan’s Mayor Begs World For More Help, FEMA Head Says Her Concerns Are Just ‘Political Noise’

CLIMATE

As San Juan’s Mayor Begs World For More Help, FEMA Head Says Her Concerns Are Just ‘Political Noise’





Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long on Sunday said San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz’s remarks critical of the Trump administration’s relief effort in Puerto Rico are just “political noise.”

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz early Sunday slammed FEMA, claiming it has not responded to recent requests for help as Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricane Maria.

“Power collapses in San Juan hospital with 2 patients being transferred out. Have requested support from @FEMA_Brock NOTHING! @cnnbrk,” Cruz wrote in one tweet.

Cruz also tweeted at The Washington Post, writing: “Increasingly painful to undestand the american people want to help and US Gov does not want to help. WE NEED WATER! @UN @washingtonpost”



Long responded to Cruz’s criticisms during an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week,” saying the agency had “filtered out the mayor a long time ago.”

“We don’t have time for the political noise,” Long said.

“As far as the political noise, we filter that out, keep our heads down and continue to make progress and push forward restoring essential functions for Puerto Rico,” he later added.

“In regards to resources, of course, we’re strained. You know, bottom line is, is that over nearly 85 percent of my entire agency is deployed right now,” he added. “We’re still working massive issues” from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma “as well as the issues in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and now this one.”

Access to drinking water has been restored to 56.87% of Puerto Rico as of Sunday, but only 11.7 percent of the U.S. territory’s 3.4 million residents had their electricity restored.

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