Mayor Carmen Cruz of San Juan, Puerto Rico delivered an emotional message on Friday, amid the logistical difficulties and bureaucratic red tape that has slowed down the hurricane-relief effort on the island/
“We are dying here,” Cruz said in a press conference. “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 long.”
“So I am asking the president of the United States to make sure somebody is in charge that is up to the task of saving lives,” Cruz continued. “If anybody is out there is listening to us, we are dying. And you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy.”
Hurricane Maria left many of the island’s 3.4 million US citizens without basic utilities and resources.
Some of the outrage over the seemingly bungled relief effort was directed at President Donald Trump. His administration on Thursday lifted an obscure shipping law that had been on the books since 1920 in order to quickly get more supplies to the island.
Cruz indicated she was losing patience with the US government: “We will make it with or without you,” Cruz said, as she pointed to a pallet of supplies behind her. “Because what stands behind me is all due to the generosity of other people.”
“People are drinking off a creek. So I am done being polite. I am done being politically correct. I am mad as hell,” Cruz continued. “So I am asking the members of the press, to send a mayday call all over the world. We are dying here.”
“And if it doesn’t stop, and if we don’t get the food and the water into people’s hands, what we are going to see is something close to a genocide.”
Watch Cruz’s comments below:
San Juan mayor: “I am asking the President of the United States to make sure somebody is in charge that is up to the task of saving lives” pic.twitter.com/nOX5RNGmyp
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 29, 2017
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