A picture emerged on the internet Saturday of Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, searching for Hurricane Maria victims. Cruz is depicted holding a megaphone in her left hand as she stands in waist-deep flood water. She held in her right hand the hand of a civilian in a canoe.
“I know there are Trump voters who are not okay with him treating Puerto Rico this way (here’s the mayor he’s attacking),” Journalist Mark Harris wrote of Cruz’s actions in a tweet Saturday. “Please speak up.”
I know there are Trump voters who are not okay with him treating Puerto Rico this way (here’s the mayor he’s attacking). Please speak up. pic.twitter.com/WPveIsKCdi
The image comes on the heels of remarks President Donald Trump made on Twitter over Cruz’s “poor” leadership skills. Trump claimed that the Puerto Rican officials want “everything to be done for them,” but alleged that federal workers on-site are doing a “fantastic job.”
“The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,” Trump wrote on Twitter Saturday. “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.”
Trump added, “The military and first responders, despite no electric, roads, phones etc., have done an amazing job. Puerto Rico was totally destroyed.”
Trump’s administration actively worked with Puerto Rican officials ahead of Hurrican Maria’s devastation, at first. The U.S. president’s trip to a New Jersey golf course is said to have delayed the island’s intended aid, according to reports. This elicited a response from “Hamilton” playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda on Twitter Saturday, saying, “[Cruz] has been working 24/7. You have been GOLFING.”
Puerto Ricans have been left to fend for themselves. Many residents are without food and water. Power is unlikely to be restored for up to six months because time is needed to repair the electric grid.
Cruz is not amused by the delayed help. Victims from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma received immediate aid from federal workers, but Puerto Rico has not benefitted from the same treatment. She made a plea to the Trump administration to aid the “dying” citizens.
“We are dying here, and I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out logistics for a small island of 100 miles by 35 miles. Mayday! We are in trouble,” Cruz said at a press conference Friday. “I am going to do what I never thought I would do. I am begging, begging anyone who can hear us to save us from dying.”
Cruz added, “We are dying, and you are killing us with inefficiency and bureaucracy.”
The damages from Hurricane Maria’s lashes could cost anywhere between $45 billion to $95 billion, CNN reported Thursday.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, pictured September 30, 2017 speaking to the media in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is featured in a photo searching for Hurricane Maria victims after Donald Trump criticizes her leadership skills.Photo: Getty Images