— CNN (@CNN) October 3, 2017
After a weekend of lashing out at Puerto Ricans after San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz called out the slow U.S. response to Hurricane Maria, President Trump traveled over big water to the island on Tuesday to shake hands. During a briefing where he told officials that they should be “very proud” of their responses to the storm, he “joked” about how much this disaster relief was costing the U.S. and how it’s not as bad as Hurricane Katrina:
“I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of wack because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that’s fine, and we’ve saved a lot of lives. If you look at the…every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous, hundreds of hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here, with really a storm that was totally overpowering, nobody’s ever seen anything like this.”
During the briefing, President Trump praised Congresswoman Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon and individuals from the armed forces for their work. However, President Trump did not specifically call attention to Cruz, who was in attendance.
Meanwhile and citing the U.S. slow response, the global anti-poverty organization Oxfam has decided to assist in relief efforts.
“Oxfam has monitored the response in Puerto Rico closely, and we are outraged at the slow and inadequate response the US government has mounted in Puerto Rico,” Oxfam America president Abby Maxman said on Tuesday. “Clean water, food, fuel, electricity, and health care are in desperately short supply and quickly dwindling, and we’re hearing excuses and criticism from the administration instead of a cohesive and compassionate response.”