San Juan mayor on CNN: “Irresponsible” for Trump official to call hurricane response a “good news story”

Mayor in Puerto Rico gets emotional: “Dammit, this is not a 'good news story.' This is a 'people are dying' story.”

From the September 29 edition of CNN's New Day:

Video file

ALISYN CAMEROTA (CO-HOST): But, mayor, let me ask you something about the White House, because we just want to try to understand this discrepancy that we’re seeing, because the secretary, the acting secretary, of homeland security says, quote, “This is a good news story” -- what’s happening in Puerto Rico -- “in terms of ability to reach people.” Do you think this is a good news story in terms of reach?



ELAINE DUKE (ACTING SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY): I am very satisfied. I know it's a hard storm to recover from, but the amount of progress that's been made. And I really would appreciate any support that we get. I know it is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane.


MAYOR CARMEN YULÍN CRUZ: Well, maybe from where she's standing it's a good news story. When you are drinking from a creek, it's not a good news story. When you don't have food for a baby, it's not a good news story. When you have to pull people down from their buildings, because -- I'm sorry, but that really upsets me and frustrates me, you know? I would ask her to come down here and visit the towns, and then make a statement like that, which, frankly, it is an irresponsible statement and it contrasts with the statements of support that I have been getting since yesterday when I got that call from the White House. This is -- dammit, this is not a “good news story.” This is a “people are dying” story. This is a life-or-death story. This is “there's a truckload of stuff that cannot be taken to people” story. This is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen because people are not getting food and water. If I could scream it a lot more louder, it is not a good news story when people are dying, when they don't have dialysis, when their generators aren't working and their oxygen isn’t providing for them. Where is there good news here? I mean, the good news is that we’re getting heard. The good news is that there's boots on the ground. The good news is that the people from FEMA have their heart in the right place and the HHS people know what to do. For heaven’s sake, somebody let them do their job. Let them get the food and the water in the hands of people and then let’s talk about good news. And I’m really sorry, but when you have people out there dying, literally, scraping for food, where is the good news?


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