From Puerto Rico: "WE NEED WATER!"

Yesterday, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz spent the day tweeting about the desperate situation in Puerto Rico. "WE NEED WATER" she tweeted over and over, following that by tweeting about the lack of response from FEMA as hospitals trasferred patients due to power outages.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long appeared on This Week, during which he bluntly said that FEMA is indeed not listening to Carmen Yulín Cruz, because she's just creating "political noise."

LONG: We filtered out the mayor a long time ago. We don't have time for the political noise.

The bottom line is, is that, um, we are making progress every day, in conjunction with the governor. And, uh, in regards to the power failure, we're restringing a very fragile system every day. As we make progress, simple thunderstorms pass through, knock the progress out.

Um, rebuilding — rebuilding Puerto Rico is gonna be a greater conversation for the Congress in conjunction with the governor on how they're, you know, what the way forward is in the future of Puerto Rico.

But in regards to the power outages and the hospitals, we built an entire 911 system; we monitor the hospital system daily. And so, if there is a power failure at a hospital, which we've seen two of, um, you know, over this past week, we're actually life-flighting the ICU patients out of those hospitals onto the USS Comfort, and we continue to stabilize that situation with hospitals.

But as far as the political noise, we filter that out, keep our heads down, and continue to make progress — and, uh, push forward to restoring essential functions for Puerto Rico.
So not only does Long dismiss Cruz's concerns about access to clean water and maintaining power at hospitals as "political noise," but he implies that said "political noise" is somehow an impediment to the work of restoring essential functions; that Cruz is obliging them to "keep their heads down" to avoid being deterred by her distracting articulation of concerns facing the people she represents.

Additionally, Long seems to reiterate the implication made by Donald Trump that the federal government might decide not to rebuild Puerto Rico at all if it's too costly. These comments from the administration are always couched in frames about "figuring out a way forward with Congress" or whatever, but what a thin veneer that is stretched over the thick suggestion of potential abandonment and neglect.

Shame on this entire administration — and that includes Mike Pence, who (as per usual) is skating by without criticism, despite the fact that the nation's foremost preening Christian self-hagiographer is busily engaging in white supremacist stunts rather than advocating for life-saving interventions on behalf of 3.4 million Americans in Puerto Rico.

Just like Jesus would do.

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