In remarks to the press and on social media, President Donald Trump has offered a slew of self-congratulations on his administration’s response to the devastation in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico is devastated. Phone system, electric grid many roads, gone. FEMA and First Responders are amazing. Governor said "great job!"
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 29, 2017
On Thursday, acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke appeared to follow the president’s lead by saying she was “very satisfied” with federal relief efforts. She even went as far as to call the response a “good news story.”
“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,” she told reporters.
That characterization did not sit well with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz. CNN shared Duke’s comments with Cruz during a live segment on New Day Friday morning, and she looked stunned.
"Dammit, this is not a good news story": San Juan mayor slams acting DHS Secretary Duke's comments about Puerto Rico https://t.co/mWdPEsCSHn
— CNN (@CNN) September 29, 2017
“Well, maybe from where she’s standing it’s a good news story,” Cruz said. “When you’re 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.”
“I’m sorry but that really upsets me and frustrates me,” she added.
Cruz said Duke’s comments undermined the words of support she received from the White House: “Dammit this is not a good news story. This is a people are dying story.”