If you want to see what real leadership looks like, sadly you’ll have to look beyond the so-called leader of the United States. Instead, turn your eyes to Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of San Juan who is working diligently to not only help her own city, but to work with other Puerto Rican mayors to save lives all over the island. And she is not having any of Trump’s publicity stunts.
In the above interview on MSNBC, Mayor Yulín Cruz updates us on Puerto Rico’s progress. While her own city’s flood waters have receded and things are slowly being restored, she laments the fact that there are inland communities that have been ravaged and continue to exist without drinking water or electricity. Hospitals are shutting down and people are dying thanks to faulty generators and no power: people who require dialysis, or who are on life support, or require electricity for any of the treatments they receive to stay alive.
She finds hope, however, in the fact that so many individual U.S. cities (New York, L.A., Boston, Miami, and Chicago among them) have been sending aid quickly, as well as individual donors and non-profit NGOs. In fact, during the interview, when asked about how Puerto Rico is currently faring, she started with this aid from individual entities, only mentioning FEMA’s response as an add-on.
Yulín Cruz was then asked about her encounter with Trump during his pantomime of an appearance in her city, where she shook his hand and said “It’s not about politics, It’s about saving lives,” to which he responded by not even looking her in the eye, dismissing her as he said goodbye to the press. She said:
“This was a p.r., 17-minute meeting. There was no exchange with anybody, with none of the mayors. And in fact, this terrible and abominable view of him throwing paper towels and throwing provisions at people, it does not embody the spirit of the American nation. That is not the land of the free and the home of the brave, the beacon of democracy that people have learned to look up to across the world. He was insulting to the people of Puerto Rico…he kind of minimized our suffering, saying that Katrina was a real disaster, sort of implying that this was not a real disaster, because not that many people have died here. Well, you know what? They’re dying.”
Thankfully, Yulín Cruz seems to have had an easier time getting White House staff to understand Puerto Rico’s needs, and through them has managed to make some headway in getting the island what it needs to survive. And they will continue to need more.
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(via MSNBC on YouTube, image: screencap)
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