Colonel James DeLapp, the Army Corps of Engineers commander for Puerto Rico, told CNN that rebuilding the island's crippled power grid was a massive undertaking.
Democratic Rep. Bennie G. Thompson of MS said the president's tweets "attacking the Puerto Rican people and the Mayor of San Juan are abhorrent, baseless, and are beneath the dignity of the office of the Presidency. We are dying", Cruz said she was hopeful the situation would improve. "And you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy".
For Trump, the mayor's plea for help to deal with a hurricane that undid "decades of economic progress ... in 12 hours" was all about politics.
The president asserted that Cruz was being influence by Democrats who were telling her to "be nasty to Trump".
In a series of early-morning tweets on Saturday, Trump also appeared to blame some of Puerto Rico's residents for the slow pace of relief from the battering caused by Hurricane Maria, saying "they want everything to be done for them".
Trump spent the first four minutes of a tax-overhaul pitch to the National Association of Manufacturers talking about hurricane relief efforts.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday morning about Governor Ricardo Rossello's praise for the administration's response and thanked FEMA workers as well. "There are people dying of hunger and thirst". 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job'.
Asked how long it would take for Puerto Rico to recover, General Buchanan gave a slight sigh and said: "This is a very, very long duration". The hurricanes crippled the island's already weakened waste and water treatment plants while fallen trees and strewn debris block roads and cellphone service remains limited. But reports from officials like Cruz and investigative journalists in Puerto Rico of morgues filled with bodies and people in life-threatening health emergencies suggest the number is much higher.
The aftermath of the storm resulted in a near-total shutdown of the USA 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. Only 11 of the island's 69 hospitals have power or fuel supply and nearly half of the population is without potable water, according to a FEMA briefing issued Tuesday morning.
Cruz responded the quote on the brink of tears saying: 'When you're drinking from a creek, it's not a good news story.
"He needs to be in charge, he needs to take control, he needs to demonstrate some level of empathy over what is happening", Mark-Viverito said on CNN.