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United States lawmakers urge Trump to 'get to work' on Puerto Rico

United States lawmakers urge Trump to 'get to work' on Puerto Rico

US President Donald Trump has been heavily criticized for his response to an ongoing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico in the wake of Category 4 Hurricane Maria, which knocked out electricity to over one million people.

Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello praised the Trump administration and the hurricane recovery efforts at a press briefing in San Juan on Sunday, while reflecting at length about systemic inequalities that hurt the USA territory.

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.

He added that it was "such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan" and that "they want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort".

Mr Trump, who will visit the island on Tuesday, added that Puerto Rico "was totally destroyed" and "10,000 Federal workers now on the island are doing a fantastic job".

Destroyed electrical posts by Hurricane Maria is seen in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, on September 30, 2017. "I wasn't saying anything nasty about the president", Cruz said.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz has pleaded for help as her country tries to survive without water or power.

Louis and Sandy Polemeni arrived in North Texas from Puerto Rico three days ago.

"Most of our nursing homes have people that have an inability to move, so they're stuck in the 14th floor, they have no water, they have no food, they - majority are insulin-dependent", she said.

At a news conference, Rossello, a Republican, declined to comment on Trump's tweets, which he said he had not seen, and said he would not be drawn into a political fight.

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"The President and I will not be fully satisfied, however, until every Puerto Rican is back home, the power is back on, clean water is fully available, schools and hospitals are fully open, and the Puerto Rican economy is working", said Duke.

He issued his latest attack on San Juan's mayor from his golf resort in New Jersey, where Trump was attending the President's Cup tournament on Sunday.

"All I did last week, or even this week, was ask for help", Cruz said in an interview on ABC's "This Week".

Residents wait in line during a water distribution in Bayamon following damages caused by Hurricane Maria in Carolina, Puerto Rico.

Mayor Cruz, of San Juan, said these distribution centers "need to be much closer and need to provide a lot more". Donald Trump still hasn't sent enough troops to help the island ― including the even more isolated Vieques and tiny Culebra off its eastern coast.

Puerto Ricans are United States citizens but due to the territory's status do not vote in presidential elections and have no real voice in Congress.

He also responded to the President's criticisms of Cruz, saying: "She has been working 24/7".

"We've got a long way to go", Long said.

Mulvaney said some people were looking for reasons to snipe at the Trump administration and that the public should consider the administration's actions over words.


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