San Juan mayor: 'There's only one goal and it's saving lives'

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz gives an update on Puerto Rico and responds to the president's attacks on "This Week."
5:05 | 10/01/17

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Transcript for San Juan mayor: 'There's only one goal and it's saving lives'
We'll hear from FEMA administrator Brock long in a moment. First, Carmen yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan. Thank you for joining thus morning. Your reaction to the president. First of all, Mr. Stephanopoulos, there's only one goal. It's savinging lives. So, any -- any dialogue that goes on has to be able to produce results. And all I did last week, or even this week, was ask for help. It has to happen. In a sustained manner. It has to happen quickly. And mayors all over Puerto Rico are getting to the supply areas. And been told, look, call us a few days later. People have been told to register via internet for FEMA relief. When we don't have any internet. Or very little internet even in the San Juan metropolitan area. I recognize a good heart that the FEMA people have. They want to help. They don't have the resources. It's not just me saying it. General Buchanan, a three-star general, appointed to deal with this situation, said we don't have the resources in order the handle the logistical support that is need in San Juan and Puerto Rico. But we have done all that we can. People are out there, they're cleaning the streets. Community kitchens are coming up. We're getting tons of donations. On Thursday, I got three paletlets of baby sub plis. Of water. I gave all of this to mayor of another town. They had come to the drix center and were told wait until Monday because we E have nothing. The president's FEMA director said you need to make your way to the joint field office and get plugged into what's going on. Have you been to the joint field office? If not, hi not? Well, number one, I got a call from the white house. A couple of days ago. I think it was Thursday. Mr. Bossert took it upon himself to call and I was very glad that he called. He seemed to be a very action-prone -- a guy that does what he says and says what he does. So we got appointed a FEMA coordinator. We have two people that are appointed to San Juan. We are the capital city. The largest city in Puerto Rico with the most amount of population. And we got appointed just -- direct links. So, actually, I was in FEMA the couple of days afterwards. When they were at the San Juan Marriott, I was invited to visit. We have been communicating ever since. Things have to be done in a sustained manner. If I only get for a population of 350,000 or perhaps half of them are in need of food and water, sustained supplies. Then, you know, I get four pallets of food, three pallets of water. That won't provide for a dent. The supply chain of aid has to be sustained. We have the lodgist IX. People from my administration, people the from my administration have been to the -- yes. Will you meet on with the president on Tuesday? What do you want him to see? If he asks to meet with me, of course I would. Anything that can be done and anyone that can listen. Again, I have been quite complimentary of the people from HHS and FEMA. Their heart is many the right place. We have to cut the red tape. Number two, let us not a talk about the debt. Let us not talk about the cost of reconstruction. Let us talk about saving lives right now. Putting back the power grid as soon as we can. That has an immediate effect on our ability to recover financially. Are you concern that the debt will be an impediment to Puerto Rico getting the help it needs over the long term? Well, I hope it isn't. But certainly, some of the comments that have come from the white house seem to point to that direction. You put the people above the debt, you put lives and avoiding deaths above the debt. That is just a -- how things are done. I mean, and this is what -- I livid in the states for 12 years. I went to school at B.U. Got my masters at car nnegie Mellon. I know the good heart of the American people. A may day sound goes off they come to the rescue. They did it in Haiti. In after rica. All over the world. We want to it be done here if a caribbean nation that has 3.5 million American citizens. Mayor, thank you for your time. I know it's been a difficult two weeks. Thank you very much. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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