In a poignant display of solidarity, Flint, Mich., Mayor Karen Weaver wrote a letter to San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz on Wednesday.
The letter came one day after President Donald Trump’s cringeworthy visit to Puerto Rico on Tuesday. His short trip to the island, which is still reeling from the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria, was characterized by repeated instances of callous words and offensive behavior.
Trump’s visit came nearly two weeks after the hurricane hit the island. While there, he told Puerto Ricans that their crisis was “throwing” the U.S. budget “out of whack” despite the federal government’s limited response to the natural disaster. The president threw rolls of paper towels at hurricane victims taking shelter in a San Juan chapel.
He also engaged in a series of tweets before the trip in which he defended the federal government’s lackadaisical response to the natural disaster and condemned Cruz for what he perceived to be an attack on his leadership. In one of those tweets, he said Puerto Ricans “want everything done for them.”
Along with innumerable others, Weaver was disgusted with Trump’s treatment of the citizens of the unincorporated U.S. territory. She began her letter with a declaration of unity.
“The people of Flint stand side-by-side with you and we commend you,” the Flint mayor wrote.
Flint Mayor sends letter to San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz:
I am "outraged by the lack of active engagement from this administration" pic.twitter.com/dIr5X2jmao
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) October 5, 2017
“President Trump’s phrase, ‘They want everything to be done for them,’ broke my heart, and the hearts of many Americans,” the mayor continued. “Unfortunately, his visit to Puerto Rico, this week, did not assure me of healing and I was hoping for healing and instead his comparisons and complaints gauged deeper wounds.”
“This is why I feel a special sisterhood, and connection to your concern for your community, and your desperate plea for action,” Weaver wrote to Cruz. “We cannot sit idly back and allow more people to become infected with disease and illnesses. We cannot allow the slow walking of aid, and the tying of victims’ hands with bureaucracy. It is fair for us to demand clear answers.”