After President Trump tore into Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz on Twitter on Saturday morning, the mayor took to TV to briefly defend herself and advocate for the rest of the island.
“This is what we have, it is one goal: it is to save lives,” the mayor told MSNBC’s Joy Reid. “I have no time for distractions. All I have is time for people to move forward and get help.”
Cruz’s comments were part of a larger effort by the mayor to attract additional military and emergency resources to the devastated island.
“What kind of Puerto Rican, what kind of a human would I be if I know of other mayors who had no water, no food and I just had my city taken care of?”
Here’s the full clip.
— AM Joy w/Joy Reid (@amjoyshow) September 30, 2017
Cruz had responded to the President’s tweets earlier in the morning by sharing photos of her and other leaders hard at work.
The goal is one: saving lives. This is the time to show our “true colors”. We cannot be distracted by anything else. pic.twitter.com/7PAINk19xM
— Carmen Yulín Cruz (@CarmenYulinCruz) September 30, 2017
On Friday, the mayor wore a “Help Us, We Are Dying” t-shirt to her interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Earlier in the day, she was joined at Press Conference by Chicago Congressman Luis Gutierrez who is currently in Puerto Rico.
The Congressman later slammed the President’s response while holding back tears.
“It is a disgraceful job … I am tired of the President always talking about how much this is going to cost. It is costing loves, Mr. President, of children, the elderly and the infirm.”
Rep. Luis Gutierrez: US work on the ground in Puerto Rico is “disgraceful”; an inadequate response is costing lives https://t.co/rykdmIn6Mr
— CNN (@CNN) September 29, 2017
Hurricane Maria made landfall on Sept. 20th. It is believed to be the strongest storm in the island’s history. Critics have accused President Trump of having an indifferent or even intentionally negligent response. Half of Puerto Rico currently doesn’t have clean drinking water, and power isn’t expected to return for six to eight months.