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.
On Saturday, she responded to Trump's tweeted comments, saying, "It's not about politics, it's not about petty comments, it's about moving forward, putting boots on the ground and saving lives".
Puerto Rico's 3.4 million people were still nearly entirely without power Saturday.
"I'm just going to say that I think the secretary's words are being taken out of context. That's all that matters", she said.
But Maher offered a solution and said: 'Let's tell Trump that there are lots of black people kneeling in Puerto Rico, maybe he'll get focused on that'.
"The people who are the best in this are the US military". It's hurricane relief. These people need help.More news: Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott responds to Donald Trump
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Numerous others have been scathing in their criticism, pointing out that the "workers" Trump addressed are USA citizens who are struggling to rebuild after a crisis with limited food, water and electricity supplies.
Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz implored Trump from afar to "make sure somebody is in charge that is up to the task of saving lives", while the president asserted that US officials and emergency personnel are working all-out against daunting odds, with "incredible" results.
Members of the media and several government officials, most notably the aforementioned Puerto Rican mayor, have been very critical of President Trump's response to Hurricane Maria, which swept through the island last week, and left millions devastated. We will make it with or without you because what stands behind me is all due to the generosity of other people.
Following Trump's tweets, photos of Cruz, wading in floodwaters up to her waist and holding a megaphone, went viral. She also said that aid from various sources had increased to Puerto Rico on Saturday morning.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency sent out a request to law enforcement agencies across the nation asking for officers who could volunteer on the island, Barragan said.
Appearing on television in a black shirt with white letters that read, "HELP US, WE ARE DYING", Cruz argued that federal aid had been slow to reach Puerto Rico following Maria, which knocked out power to the entire island. The Trump administration placed business interests over the interests of Puerto Rico in delaying a waiver of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (also known as the Jones Act), which prohibits ships with foreign flags from docking on the island. "We've got lines of volunteers ready to do anything they're told to do".
Andrew Cuomo on Friday said he dispatched more than 70 Port Authority workers and more than 50 state troopers to help with relief efforts. "We're doing whatever we can", Sandy Polemeni said.