FEMA Administrator Brock Long said Saturday that rescue workers "bust their rear ends" in bringing to the suffering residents of Puerto Rico and that "at the end of the day, we can't do it all by ourselves."
"The bottom line is nobody inside the Federal Emergency Management Agency wants everybody to go without food and water," Long told Fredricka Whitfield on CNN. "We bust our rear ends.
"These guys are incredibly dedicated," he added. "At the end of the day, we can't do it all by ourselves.
"Disaster response, a successful one, is dependent on the entire community," Long said. "It can't just be dependent on the federal government."
The FEMA head's comments came after President Donald Trump slammed San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz on Twitter for her attacks over this administration's poor response to Hurricane Maria, saying that "they want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort."
President Trump is scheduled to visit Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday.
Cruz, a member of the island's Popular Democratic Party, has repeatedly bashed the White House's efforts, saying late Friday: "We're dying here. We truly are dying here.
"I keep saying it: SOS," Cruz added. "If anyone can hear us, Mr. Trump can hear us, let's just get it over with and get the ball rolling."
She responded to Trump's tweetstorm Saturday with her own post:
Long told Whitfield that officials have been in continuous communication with Gov. Ricardo Rosselló — and he is "stepping up."
"He's trying to muster his people back in place — and, eventually, we're able to bring more organizations in."
He added that FEMA established a joint field office "numerous" days ago in San Juan to centralize relief efforts and that Mayor Cruz needed to "make her way to the joint field office and get plugged into what's going on and be successful.
"I think that's the bottom line on that tweet."
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