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FEMA Chief Says 'We Filtered Out' San Juan Mayor After She Pleads 'We Need Water!'

Climate
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long

The administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) dismissed the mayor of San Juan's vocal criticism of the Trump administration's Hurricane Maria relief efforts in Puerto Rico.


"We filtered out the mayor a long time ago," FEMA administrator Brock Long said in an interview with ABC's This Week on Sunday.

"We don't have time for the political noise," he continued. "The bottom line is that we are making progress every day in conjunction with the governor."

Long's comment was in regard to Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz's tweet alleging that FEMA did not respond to a request for support after a hospital in San Juan lost power and patients needed to be transferred out.

Cruz also tweeted over the weekend, "WE NEED WATER!" and "there is no help in the horizon."

"In regards outages and the hospitals, we've built an entire 9-1-1 system," Long insisted during his interview. "We monitor the hospital system daily. So if there is a power failure at a hospital … we're actually life-lighting the ICU patients out of those hospitals."

"But as far as the political noise, we filter that out, keep our heads down, and continue to make progress in restoring essential functions in Puerto Rico."

Several weeks after the Sept. 20 Category 4 storm devastated the U.S. territory, only 11.7 percent of the island's electricity consumers have power, and 56.8 percent of Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority customers have potable water, according to FEMA's website tracking the federal response to Hurricane Maria.

FEMA was under scrutiny last week for removing stats about Puerto Rico's electricity and water access from the website. That information returned by Friday afternoon.

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