Trump's tweets about Puerto Rico continued throughout Saturday, prompting prominent celebrities and politicians to come in Cruz's defense.
After Trump's news conference on Maria, Rihanna, who hails from Barbados, flagged a few tweets about the natural disaster for Trump, just in case he missed them: a CBS tweet featuring a video clip of an interview with the mayor of San Juan, and an Instagram video of a nurse giving an update on the lack of necessary supplies, including criticizing the United States for holding shipments.
The aftermath of the storm resulted in a near-total shutdown of the US territory's economy that could last for weeks and has many people running seriously low on water, diesel fuel, gas and cash, and worrying that it will become even harder to survive on the storm-ravaged island.
Duke added that the progress she's seen so far today is "very, very strong", with more roads cleared, power being restored, hospitals reopening and potable water becoming readily available. On that front, she ran into winds as fierce as Maria.
Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Secretary, said Friday that while she was "proud" of the federal response in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, the situation on the ground is still "not satisfactory".
On Wednesday, President Trump said his administration was looking at a new waiver as an option, but revealed there was pressure not to act on behalf of Puerto Rico.
The president is responding by citing what he calls "such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help".
According to the administration, more than 90 percent of the island now is now accessible; some 200 gas stations are open. The U.S. military is conducting daily flights delivering food and water for up to 250,000 residents there, according to a press release from the U.S. Northern Command.
Many said they are losing patience and wondering why, as American citizens, they are not getting the same relief as residents of Florida and Texas after storms Irma and Harvey. "It's been wiped out".
The Broadway star, whose parents moved to NY from Puerto Rico, said he is working on a new song to raise for disaster relief.
"If you don't have food for a baby it's not a good news story".
"I think that there's kind of two responses I'd have to that", he said. "We are with you and Puerto Rico". Yet even in voicing solidarity and sympathy with Puerto Rico, he drew attention again to the island's debt burden and infrastructure woes, leaving doubt about how far Washington will go to make the US territory whole.
"Ultimately the government of Puerto Rico will have to work with us to determine how this massive rebuilding effort, which will end up being one of the biggest ever, will be funded and organized, and what we will do with the tremendous amount of existing debt already on the island", Trump said.
"Puerto Rico's weak infrastructure will make it hard to provide the aid that it desperately needs", NPR reported on September 22.
"Let me clarify", she said Friday upon her arrival in San Juan.
Asked to clarify her comment that the government's response to the storm is a "good news story", Duke pointed to effective coordination between federal and local authorities and said there is "unification of command".
Trump is expected to survey the damage Tuesday.
She left Puerto Rico to study at Boston University and graduated with honors before earning a master's degree in public management and policy at Carnegie Mellon University.