Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico begs for help: ‘We are dying here’ (Updated)

Our always insecure egomaniacal Twitter-troll-in-chief continues to focus on his administration’s “reviews” of its response to the humanitarian disaster in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, complaining that the press is insufficiently adulatory of “Dear Leader,”  while at the same time shifting blame for the inadequate relief response to the island citizens themselves.

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Dear Leader’s never-ending need for self-congratulation and adulation permeates his entire administration, including Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Secretary, who said Thursday the relief effort on the island is “a good news story” with necessary supplies being delivered and federal agencies working hard to distribute those goods.

Wow, was that ever tone-deaf and not at all reflective of the actual situation on the ground. Acting secretary Duke was forced to “clarify” and to walk back her misguided statement today. After criticism, acting homeland security chief admits humanitarian situation in Puerto Rico ‘is not satisfactory.

The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Carmen Yulín Cruz, when told of Duke’s statement, was at first incredulous and then got angry. Video.

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After Trump’s series of self-congratulatory tweets, Mayor Cruz gave a press conference in which she made a plea to the president. video.

“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 a 100 miles by 35 miles.” “So I am asking the president of the United States to make sure somebody is in charge, and is up to the task of saving lives.”

The mayor then did “What I thought I would never have to do: beg.” video.

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I am begging. Begging anyone that can hear us, to save us from dying. If anybody out there is listenig to us, we are dying. And you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy. We will make it with or without you.”

“So I am done being polite. I am done being politically correct. I am mad as hell. Because my people’s lives are at stake.”

The mayor then asked “the members of the press to send a ‘May Day’ call all over the world, ‘we are dying here’ . . . and if we don’t get the food and the water into people’s hands, we are going to see something close to a genocide.”

So FEMA and other government relief personnel are not doing a great job. Necessary supplies are sitting on the docks, undelivered. This needs to be a military operation. U.S. response in Puerto Rico pales next to actions after Haiti quake:

After an earthquake shattered Haiti’s capital on Jan. 12, 2010, the U.S. military mobilized as if it were going to war.

Before dawn the next morning, an Army unit was airborne, on its way to seize control of the main airport in Port-au-Prince. Within two days, the Pentagon had 8,000 American troops en route. Within two weeks, 33 U.S. military ships and 22,000 troops had arrived. More than 300 military helicopters buzzed overhead, delivering millions of pounds of food and water.

But as criticism of the federal government’s initial response to the crisis in Puerto Rico continued to mount Thursday, the mission to Haiti — an island nation several hundred miles from the U.S. mainland — stands as an example of how quickly relief efforts can be mobilized.

By contrast, eight days after Hurricane Maria ripped across neighboring Puerto Rico, just 4,400 service members were participating in federal operations to assist the devastated island, an Army general told reporters Thursday. In addition, about 1,000 Coast Guard members were aiding the efforts. About 40 U.S. military helicopters were helping to deliver food and water to the 3.4 million residents of the U.S. territory, along with 10 Coast Guard helicopters.

Leaders of the humanitarian mission in Haiti said in interviews that they were dismayed by the relative lack of urgency and military muscle in the initial federal response to Puerto Rico’s catastrophe.

“I think it’s a fair ask why we’re not seeing a similar command and response,” said retired Lt. Gen. P.K. “Ken” Keen, the three-star general who commanded the U.S. military effort in Haiti, where 200,000 people died by some estimates. “The morning after, the president said we were going to respond in Port-au-Prince . . . robustly and immediately, and that gave the whole government clarity of purpose.”

Rajiv J. Shah, who led the U.S. Agency for International Development during the Haiti response, said he, too, was struggling to “understand the delays.”

“We were able to move more quickly in a foreign country, and with no warning because it was an earthquake, than a better-equipped agency was able to do in a domestic territory,” he said.

This is a humanitarian disaster from two hurricanes that were predicted and tracked for over a week. Everyone knew this was coming. Where was the pre-planning?

Note: In Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories, the nearly 140-year-old Posse Comitatus Act limits the role that active military personnel can play.

UPDATE: But of course … the Great and Powerful Oz “Dear Leader” is pissed that anyone dare challenge the “optics” of his magnificance and greatness.

Our always insecure egomanial Twitter-troll-in-chief is now attacking Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz for not praising him with adulation. The mayor is busy busting her ass to save the lives of her people in a humanitarian crisis. Trump slams San Juan mayor who begged for more help from U.S.:

President Donald Trump on Saturday lashed out at the mayor of San Juan and other officials in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, contemptuous of their claims of a laggard U.S. response to the natural disaster that has imperiled the island’s future.

“They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort,” Trump said in a series of tweets a day after the capital city’s leader appealed for help “to save us from dying.”

“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,” Trump said.

The tweets amounted to a biting response to San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who had accused the Trump administration of “killing us with the inefficiency” after Hurricane Maria. She implored the president, who is set to visit the U.S. territory on Tuesday, to “make sure somebody is in charge that is up to the task of saving lives.”

Trump, from his golf club in New Jersey, took to Twitter to accuse Cruz of partisan politics.

“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,” the president charged, without substantiation.

“Trump has repeatedly boasted about the positive reviews he said his administration is getting from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for its relief effort, even as people in remote towns struggle to find food, water and other basics.”

Aaron Blake of the Washington Post writes, Trump just proved he doesn’t understand Puerto Rico’s plight by lashing out at a mayor: “This is who the president is. He doesn’t accept criticism and move on; he brings a bazooka to a knife fight — even when those wielding the knife are trying to save lives.”

20 Responses to Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico begs for help: ‘We are dying here’ (Updated)

  1. Frances Perkins

    Mind numbing incompetence and stupidity. And that is Trump at his best.

  2. Trump responds to his critics…

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 22m22 minutes ago

    Results of recovery efforts will speak much louder than complaints by San Juan Mayor. Doing everything we can to help great people of PR!

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 1h1 hour ago

    To the people of Puerto Rico:
    Do not believe the #FakeNews!
    #PRStrong

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 3h3 hours ago

    Despite the Fake News Media in conjunction with the Dems, an amazing job is being done in Puerto Rico. Great people!

    • Brian Klaas‏Verified account @brianklaas 10h10 hours ago

      Trump’s week:
      Attack black athletes✓
      Health care bill collapse✓
      Start & end week at golf club✓
      Slow response to PR✓
      Attack mayor in crisis✓

  3. Well, Trump lit up Twitter this morning. Here’s my favorite tweet so far:

    Eric Garland‏Verified account @ericgarland 2h2 hours ago

    It’s almost like he’s white supremacist mobster tasked by a foreign power to harm America, with a special focus on stoking racism.

    • Much respect to those who can pack a sentence.

    • Truth. Mayor Cruz is a warrior.

      Rep. Joe Kennedy III‏Verified account @RepJoeKennedy 2h2 hours ago

      To Mayor Cruz, your fellow Americans are inspired by your fierce, passionate leadership. We stand w/ San Juan & Puerto Rico.

    • More truth…

      Seth Abramson‏Verified account @SethAbramson 2h2 hours ago

      Trump is attacking hurricane victims.

      I think it’s about time for us to wrap this presidency up.

    • Preet Bharara‏Verified account @PreetBharara 2h2 hours ago

      Top Trump responses to drowning person:

      1. Swim better
      2. You’re fired
      3. I’ll sell you this life preserver for $1M
      4. Lazy Puerto Rican

  4. Blood pressure spike WARNING. Trump has gone off the rails.

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 33m33 minutes ago
    The Fake News Networks are working overtime in Puerto Rico doing their best to take the spirit away from our soldiers and first R’s. Shame!

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 52m52 minutes ago
    Fake News CNN and NBC are going out of their way to disparage our great First Responders as a way to “get Trump.” Not fair to FR or effort!

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 1h1 hour ago
    The military and first responders, despite no electric, roads, phones etc., have done an amazing job. Puerto Rico was totally destroyed.

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 1h1 hour ago
    …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.

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 1h1 hour ago
    …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….

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 1h1 hour ago
    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.

    • A humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico is in progress and Trump thinks it’s about him. Puerto Rico is an unwanted “distraction” from his “tax reform” agenda that was so well received by wealthy Americans and corporations this week. Human suffering and death must be put aside in the interest of promoting the carnival barker showing his base that he can get something done!

    • Ted Lieu‏Verified account @tedlieu 13m13 minutes

      Dear @realDonaldTrump: You have no moral standing to criticize anyone in Puerto Rico when you prioritized NFL bashing & playing golf first.

    • Facts Do Matter‏ @WilDonnelly 54m54 minutes ago

      The piece of shit in the WH has done what he always does, blame the victim and Dems for his failures. Truly disgusting, sad and pathetic.

    • Charles P. Pierce‏Verified account @CharlesPPierce 50m50 minutes ago

      Good morning! The president* committed Twitter’s first crime against humanity today. Have a good Saturday.

    • Palmer Report‏
      @PalmerReport

      Here’s the Mayor of San Juan waist deep in water while leading rescue efforts. Donald Trump is tweeting insults at her from a golf course.

      https://twitter.com/PalmerReport/status/914132004211499008

    • Keith Olbermann‏Verified account @KeithOlbermann 31m31 minutes ago

      This is NOT Trump misunderstanding reality in Puerto Rico. This is a virulent, sick bigot letting Hispanics die

      Keith Olbermann‏Verified account
      @KeithOlbermann 51m51 minutes ago

      Trump’s psychopathic attack today on Puerto Rico is not malfeasance. As a racist who hates Hispanics, he WANTS THIS

      Keith Olbermann‏Verified account @KeithOlbermann 1h1 hour ago

      Trump would not condemn Nazis. He is NOW condemning the victims in Puerto Rico. He is a psychopath, and racist

  5. Trump slams Puerto Rico: ‘They want everything to be done for them’
    BY BRANDON CARTER – 09/30/17 07:34 AM EDT

    President Trump on Saturday criticized Puerto Rico’s “poor leadership” and defended his administration’s response to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria’s devastation on the island.

    Following a plea for aid by San Juan’s mayor, Trump said the mayor was being “nasty.”

    “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 tweeted. “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,” he continued. “10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.”

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/353216-trump-criticizes-san-juan-mayors-poor-leadership-during-puerto-rico

    • For Sure Not Tom

      This seems to be the approved talking point on the right. That PR is an island of mooches.

      Every day the GOP sets a new low.

      • “That PR is an island of mooches.”

        Well, there is some truth in that. Of all places damaged and/or devastated by the hurricanes, Puerto Rico has done more than it’s fair share of appearing helpless to help themselves. The other Caribbean islands, Texas, Louisiana, etc., have asked for help from outside, but they also were working internally to help alleviate the suffering. Only Puerto Rico seems incapable of handling anything on their own to make things better while waiting for outside aid. Why is Puerto Rico so unable to do anything to better their lot?

        Despite some early confusion and mistakes, the emergency goods and supplies are stacking up at the ports and no one from Puerto Rico knows what, or how, to do anything with them. Also, remember that Puerto Rico’s National Guard is an Engineer Unit “heavy” organization. Where are the National Guard Engineer assets (bulldozers, backhoes, construction materials, trained soldiers, etc.) and how are they being used? In the case of Engineer Units, the same resources that fight wars can also be used in peacetime, especially in the arena of infrastructure (road repair/building, bridging activities, water purification, etc.).

        “Every day the GOP sets a new low.”

        Well, Tom, when you refuse to acknowledge anything good they do accomplish, I could see where you might be willing to think that.

  6. economic darwinism the republican libertarian ayn randist philosophy in action! last seen during katrina. survival of the fitist!

  7. Concerned Citizen

    Excellent article! Rachel Maddow had the Mayor on live tonight. Sept. 29, 2017.