San Juan mayor shames Trump for ignoring 2,975 dead Americans


'The administration killed the Puerto Ricans with neglect.'

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz blasted Trump and his administration for their callous response to the news that Puerto Rico has revised the official death toll from Hurricane Maria to at least 2,975 people.

On Wednesday morning's edition of CNN's "New Day," Cruz slammed Trump over a White House statement saying he was "proud" of the government's response to Hurricane Maria.

"The administration killed the Puerto Ricans with neglect," Cruz said. "Shame on President Trump for not even once, not even yesterday, just saying, 'Look, I grieve with the people of Puerto Rico.'"

"What is there to be proud of, 2,975 dead?" Mayor Cruz asked, adding that Trump's shameful response will be a "stain on his presidency for as long as he lives, because rather than coming here to support us, he came here to throw paper towels at us."

On Tuesday, Puerto Rico officially revised its estimated Hurricane Maria death toll from 1,427 people up to 2,975.

That's significantly higher than 16, which was the official death count Trump cited when he said in October that Maria was not a "real catastrophe." But it's still well short of the 4,645 people that another study estimated had died as a result of the storm.

Trump made no public comment on the new death toll Tuesday. Instead, he had Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders release a statement saying that Trump "remains proud of all of the work the Federal family undertook" in the aftermath of hurricanes Maria and Irma.

But Trump had ample opportunity to address the shocking new death toll on Tuesday. He appeared on camera during a meeting with soccer officials, where he took the time to falsely attack Google over his own bad search results, and to once again falsely promise that Mexico will pay for his racist border wall.

He also found time to spout off about a nonsense Hillary Clinton conspiracy theory, to rant against anonymous sources hours after citing them, and to send a blizzard of election-related tweets that included an attack on Mayor Andrew Gillum, who will become Florida's first black governor if he wins his gubernatorial bid.

And even when Trump was asked about Puerto Rico after a photo op on Wednesday, Trump failed to mention the revised death toll, and claimed his administration did a "fantastic job."

But as Cruz noted, Trump could not spare a single syllable — or even a tweet — for the thousands of Americans who died as a result of Hurricane Maria.

Still, considering the racist attacks Trump launched at Puerto Rico in the midst of their suffering, perhaps his silence now is a blessing.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.