Puerto Rico's population of 3.4 million American citizens is in the throes of a humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which killed 16 people and ravaged the islands electricity grid.
The mayor said in a Saturday interview that she didn't mean to say anything "nasty" about Trump. "And you should go there, you should go see that operation, where we're having daily conversations with all of the mayors, we're working with the government and his leadership to create unified objectives", Long said.
"No food, no water, no medical care for the dying...Puerto Rico needs more help, Mr. President!" the newspaper's splash read, above the headline,"American Tragedy".
Trump's decision came at the behest of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello, but others pushed for it as well. Residents tell the Associated Press that relief efforts seem so concentrated in San Juan, that they remain waiting for any resemblance of aid.
The Jones Act is a 97-year-old maritime law that says shipping between ports in the United States must be done by USA -owned, US -flagged, and USA -built ships operated by USA citizens. The island relies heavily on ports.
Trump attacks 'poor leadership' after San Juan mayor begs for help
Trump touted the federal government's response on the island, saying the workers there are doing "a fantastic job". Cruz, 54, was born and raised in San Juan, according to a biography on Puerto Rico's Chamber of Commerce website.
Trump tweeted later Thursday about the "totally shot" condition of Puerto Rico's electrical infrastructure.
As though criticizing Mayor Cruz wasn't crass enough, Trump invoked the racist trope of lazy minorities hungry for government handouts just for good measure. (You might be able to help with that if you've got trucking qualifications.) Meanwhile, the Trump administration is reportedly utilizing a discretionary practice to require evacuees to pay their full travel costs. "10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job (sic)", Trump added in a series of tweets.
The Republican president initiated his tweets, some of which were apparently deleted minutes later, by suggesting Cruz's criticism was instigated by Democrats.
After days of urging, Trump on Thursday temporarily lifted restrictions on foreign shipping from the USA mainland to Puerto Rico to move aid more quickly and the Pentagon appointed a senior general to oversee military relief operations.