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.
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.
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.
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.”