For the last week, a number of celebrities and business owners have been doing what they can to send aid to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. However, President Trump and his administration have been slow to offer sufficient support, using the fact that the island is surrounded by “big water” as an excuse.
Trump’s excuses have not been well-received, particularly by the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz. At a press conference on Friday, Cruz lashed out at the president and criticized him for not doing more to work around the logistical issues that are supposedly preventing him from sending more help.
With tears in her eyes, Cruz told the press:
‘If we don’t solve the logistics, we are going to see something close to a genocide.
‘We are dying here. I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out the logistics … of an island a mile wide.’
She then addressed Trump directly:
‘So, Mr. Trump, I am begging you to take charge and save lives. If not, the world will see how we are treated not as second-class citizens but as animals that can be disposed of. Enough is enough.’
Cruz went on to tell Trump that “inefficiency and bureaucracy” are killing the people of Puerto Rico. She also called on the press to help share the message about how much assistance the island needs:
‘We have no time for patience anymore. I am asking the president of the United States to make sure somebody is in charge who is up to the task of saving lives. I am begging anyone that can hear us to save us from dying. If anybody out there is listening to us, we are dying here and you are killing us … with inefficiency and bureaucracy.
‘I am done being polite, and I am done being politically correct. I am mad as hell because my people’s lives are at stake.I’m asking members of the press to send a mayday call. We are dying here. If we don’t solve the logistics, we are going to see something close to a genocide.”
‘I’m asking members of the press to send a mayday call. We are dying here. If we don’t solve the logistics, we are going to see something close to a genocide.’
Watch Cruz’s address in the video below, available via Twitter.
BREAKING: “We are dying here … we are going to see something close to a genocide" if we don't get more help, San Juan mayor says. pic.twitter.com/Dlfi76m3v9
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) September 29, 2017
A number of people have responded to Cruz’s speech and joined her in imploring Trump to do more to help.
Featured image is a screenshot from the video.