The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, issued a scathing statement against President Trump on Thursday and begged for international aid for the U.S. territory. "I ask every American ... to stand with Puerto Rico and let this president know WE WILL NOT BE LEFT TO DIE," Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz wrote. "I ask the United Nations and UNICEF and the world to stand with the people of Puerto Rico and stop the genocide that will result from the lack of appropriate action of a president that just does not get it because he has been incapable of looking in our eyes and seeing the pride that burns fiercely in our hearts and souls."
Earlier Thursday, Trump appeared to tell Puerto Rico that its federal relief effort has a pending expiration date. "Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes," Trump tweeted. "Congress to decide how much to spend. We cannot keep FEMA, the military, [and] the first responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!"
Thirty-five percent of Puerto Rico residents still don't have drinking water, and just 10 percent have electricity. "Your tweets and comments just show desperation and underscore the inadequacy of your government's response to this humanitarian crisis," Cruz wrote. "It is not that you do not get it, it is that you are incapable of empathy and frankly simply cannot get the job done."
She added: "Condemn us to a slow death of non-drinkable water, lack of food, lack of medicine while you keep others eager to help from reaching us since they face the impediment of the Jones Act … Simply put: HELP US. WITHOUT ROBUST and CONSISTENT HELP, WE WILL DIE." Read the full letter below. Jeva Lange