San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz expressed dismay, outrage, and sadness over Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke's remarks Thursday that U.S. relief efforts in Puerto Rico made for a "good news story."
What did Duke say?
During a Thursday news conference at the White House, Duke made the following statement about the hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
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.
What was Yulín Cruz's response?
Speaking to CNN's Alisyn Camerota during "CNN New Day" Friday, Yulín Cruz vented her frustrations.
After Camerota played footage of Duke's remarks, Yulín Cruz was clearly taken aback — it was apparently the first time she'd heard Duke's comments.
When Camerota asked Yulín Cruz if she thought relief efforts was, indeed, a "good news story," Yulín Cruz appeared shocked and uttered a mirthless laugh.
"[She] said that?" Yulín Cruz asked incredulously. "Is that what [she said]?"
Yulín Cruz continued, "Well, maybe from where she’s standing it’s a good news story."
"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," Yulín Cruz added.
"I’m sorry, but that really upsets me and frustrates me," she said.
San Juan's mayor slams acting DHS Secretary Duke's comments about Puerto Rico: "Where is the good news?" https://t.co/tEhSz1fKUS
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) September 29, 2017
"Frankly, it's an irresponsible statement, and at contrast with the statements of support that I’ve been getting since yesterday, when I got that call from the White House," she said.
Becoming increasingly emotional, Yulín Cruz added, "Dammit, this is not a good news story. This is a 'people are dying' story. This is a life or death story."
"This is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen because people are not getting food and water," she continued. "It is not a good news story when people are dying."
"Where is there good news here?" she demanded. "I’m really sorry, but when you have people out there dying, literally, scraping for food — where is the good news?"
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosello, who strongly petitioned the Trump administration to lift the Jones Act in order to aid in humanitarian relief, issued comments on Friday praising the U.S. government for its aid.
"I have to say that the administration has responded to our petitions. FEMA, Brock Long, has been on the phone virtually all the time with me, checking out how things are going," Rosello told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
— New Day (@NewDay) September 29, 2017