— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 8, 2017
Late last week, folks started to realize that FEMA quietly removed statistics about Puerto Rico’s water access and electricity (following Hurricane Maria’s direct hit) from its website. Shortly thereafter, Elon Musk and the U.S. territory’s governor began to discuss solar as an option to rebuild. This was a more refreshing approach to teamwork than that offered by FEMA head Brock Long on ABC’s This Week on Sunday.
In response to Martha Raddatz’s questions about San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz’s steady criticism of the Trump administration’s slow response to recovery, Long admitted that his agency hasn’t been listening to her, for they believe that her complaints are merely “political noise”:
“We filtered out the mayor a long time ago. We don’t have time for the political noise. The bottom line is that we are making progress every day in conjunction with the governor … We monitor the hospital system daily. And so if there is a power failure at a hospital … we’re actually life-lighting the ICU patients out of those hospitals … but as far as the political noise, we filter that out, keep our heads down, and continue to make progress in restoring essential functions in Puerto Rico.”
Long’s response arrived after Cruz tweeted about a power outage at a San Juan hospital. She claimed that several patients were being transferred, but Cruz alleged that FEMA was not undertaking those duties and had actually given “no response” on the matter when contacted for assistance. Further, Cruz tweeted, “WE NEED WATER!”
Unfortunately and as some noted on Twitter, Raddatz did not follow up with any questions about FEMA removing stats on essential functions from public view. Indeed, it was a missed opportunity. Still, Raddatz managed to secure confirmation that FEMA sees the San Juan mayor like President Trump does — as someone who “has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty.” Yes, this feud is taking place during a humanitarian crisis.
UPDATE – 8:02pm EST: Trump tweeted this video along with the complaint that no one is recognizing all the “work” that “I’ve done for” Puerto Rico.