San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz ripped into the Trump White House for saying it is “proud” of its response to Hurricane Maria a day after the island’s estimated death toll from last year’s hurricanes rose to almost 3,000.
“What came out of the White House yesterday was, ‘we’re very proud of what we did, and very committed,’ ” Cruz said in an interview with CNN, referencing a statement released by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders Tuesday night.
“The Trump administration killed the Puerto Ricans with neglect. The Trump administration led us to believe that they were helping when they weren’t really up to par and they didn’t allow other countries to help us,” she added.
“The governor of Puerto Rico sat there beside the president when he said, ‘Oh 16 [deaths]? You ought to be commended, that’s not a real disaster. Katrina is a real disaster,’ ” Cruz said, recalling Trump’s remarks last year.
“Well, Katrina was a real disaster,” she continued. “And now we have more deaths than Katrina.”
Back in 2017, Trump told the island’s residents that they would be “proud” of his administration’s cleanup efforts.
“Everybody around this table and everybody watching can really be very proud of what’s taken place in Puerto Rico,” Trump said at the time during a visit to the island.
Puerto Rico’s government officially raised the death toll on the island from 64 to 2,975 at a press conference on Tuesday.
“I agree that we could be and should be more effective on the operational side … I agree I made mistakes,” Rosselló told reporters. “This could have been done differently.”
“Everybody is [going to be held accountable]. This is a review process … and everybody is going to be expected to make change, and if they can’t make change, then they cannot be in the administration,” he added.
Trump on Wednesday told White House reporters that he thinks his administration “did a fantastic job in Puerto Rico.”
“I think most of the people in Puerto Rico really appreciate what we’ve done,” he added.
"I think we did a fantastic job in Puerto Rico," President Trump says day after Puerto Rico Gov. Rossello increased official Hurricane Maria death toll from 64 to 2,975. https://t.co/IbN6inggPX pic.twitter.com/x4F0HtDDiP
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 29, 2018