After earning praise for his handling of the hurricanes in Texas and Florida, President Trump is now being criticized (mostly by Democrats) for his handling of the devastation in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria. Much of that criticism is based on the word of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who is claiming “we are dying” as a direct result of Trump’s ineffective handling of relief efforts.
However, it now appears Cruz is not only lying about the dire circumstances, she is not even actively participating in organizing relief efforts in her city.
A report by Alex Pfeiffer and Peter Hasson of the Daily Caller has revealed that Cruz is not even meeting with federal officials to coordinate relief efforts. Instead, she appears to be making time to go on television to criticize President Trump instead. In one interview, she claimed Puerto Rico is on the verge of “genocide” because of Trump.
Cruz’s lack of effort is being exposed by the mayor of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Angel Perez says Cruz is not attending meetings with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other federal agencies. He sees a far different effort, although he admits the circumstances are challenging.
Mayor Perez told The DC that the story Cruz is telling the media doesn’t mesh with what he has seen from the federal government.
“My experience is different. I have been participating in different meetings at the headquarters of FEMA and our government and the help is coming in and right now my experience is different from hers. I’m receiving help from the government, we are receiving assistance from FEMA, I got people over here helping us with applications for the people that have damage in their houses. And we have here in Guaynabo, we have thousands of people that lost partially or totally their houses,” said Perez, who is a member of Puerto Rico’s New Progressive Party.
Perez’s comments echoed what FEMA administrator Brock Long said on Saturday. Long defended Trump’s tweets blasting Cruz and indicated that Cruz has failed to connect with the FEMA command center set up on the island to help with the relief effort.
When asked about Cruz’s “genocide” statement, Perez said, “I don’t know why she is saying that. What I can tell you is my experience. She is not participating in any meetings and we had a couple already with the governors and with representation of FEMA and of HUD, of these whole federal agencies that have given us help and she’s not participating in those meetings and some mayors from her political party have been participating, so I don’t know why she is saying that. My experience is very different.”
Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera challenged Cruz in an interview, the video of which is posted below. He points out that while efforts in Puerto Rico are lacking, the circumstances are far different. He points out that logistics in getting aid to an island are harder than it was in Texas and Florida. However, he points out that he sees no one dying from starvation and thirst, as Cruz suggests.