Later Thursday, Trump praised the government response in a tweet, saying the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was doing a great job. After much pressure, the White House also announced a 10-day waiver of the Jones Act, lifting the shipping restrictions into us ports, and thus allowing food and supplies to be brought into Puerto Rico.
Yulín Cruz said help has not been reaching stranded residents quickly enough.
Just because Puerto Rico is still grappling with the devastation left behind by Hurricane Maria, which includes millions of US citizens struggling to survive without electricity or potable water, doesn't mean the president won't lash out if his feelings are hurt. "If anybody out there is listening to us, we are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency". "So there remains a lot of work to do and we will work with the folks who we're working with right now, they're trying very, very hard, I will tell you that, but nobody's ever seen anything like it", he said.
Trump also tweeted that he and First Lady Melania Trump are planning to be in Puerto Rico on Tuesday. Said Trump: "Results of recovery efforts will speak louder" than her "complaints".
"This waiver will ensure that over the next ten days, all options are available to move and distribute goods to the people of Puerto Rico".
As though criticizing Mayor Cruz wasn't crass enough, Trump invoked the racist trope of lazy minorities hungry for government handouts just for good measure. "When you're drinking from a creek, it's not a good news story".
The mayor of Puerto Rico's largest city, San Juan, criticized Trump on Saturday, after begging for additional federal assistance, and contrasted the administration's response with that of Goya, an American foods producer, which donated 200,000 pounds of food.
That prompted a sharp retort from San Juan's mayor in a CNN interview.
Even Puerto Rico Health Secretary Rafael Rodríguez-Mercado told the CPI reporters "he documented seven additional hurricane-related deaths at three hospitals on the island's western region he was able to visit on Monday", and those had not been included in the official count of 16.
"The federal response has been a disaster", said lawmaker Jose Enrique Melendez, a member of Gov. Ricardo Rossello's New Progressive Party.