WASHINGTON — Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., the first Puerto Rican-born woman elected to Congress, sharply criticized President Trump’s handling of the hurricane damage on the island in an interview with Yahoo News on Friday evening. The congresswoman also suggested the president is treating Puerto Ricans differently than other U.S. citizens because they are Latinos.
Velázquez expressed shock that Trump gave himself “a 10” on a scale of one to 10 when Yahoo News had asked him to grade his response to the destruction.
“I really don’t know how he arrived at 10,” Velázquez said.
Trump gave himself the perfect score when he spoke to reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday after meeting with Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello.
The congresswoman went on to cite figures about the current situation on the island, which is a U.S. territory. As of Friday morning, more than 80 percent of the island was without power, and more than 30 percent lacked reliable drinking water. The devastation was largely caused when Hurricane Maria hit the island on Sept. 20. The storm was a Category 5, the highest level on the hurricane scale.
“This is a month later. I really think that this president is delusional. He’s out of touch,” said Velázquez, adding, “I don’t know if he doesn’t or he is incapable to really understand how disgusting it is … that he seems to be more concerned with self-adulation than what is happening on the ground.”
Velázquez, who visited Puerto Rico shortly after the storm struck, did not hesitate when Yahoo News asked what grade she’d give the president’s response to the hurricane one a scale of one to 10.
“Oh, four,” she said.
Velázquez said she thinks the island’s residents, who are U.S. citizens, would be receiving better treatment if they were not largely Latino.
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