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San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said Tuesday that she accepted an invitation form President Trump to join him in a briefing while he's in Puerto Rico today. Photo: Carlos Giusti / AP

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said in a statement Tuesday that she has accepted an invitation from President Trump to join him in a briefing while he's in Puerto Rico today. Trump has called her an "ingrate" and accused her of "poor leadership" in recent days, after she publicly begged him for help and said the federal response had been inadequate.

"I have accepted the invitation on behalf of the people from San Juan and out of respect for the American people, represented by the Capital Office of the President of The United States. I will use this opportunity to reiterate the primary message: this is about saving lives, not about politics; this is also about giving the people of Puerto Rico the respect we deserve; and recognizing the moral imperative to do both."
"To save lives we need a robust and continuous supply chain of aid, we need to adapt standard opening procedures to local reality. And above all we need to cut the red tape.
Open channels of communication are always good to have, but they must produce much needed results. This is a humanitarian crisis and it must be treated with that sense of urgency. That is the only way to complete the only mission the matters: saving lives. That is what it is all about."

Go deeper

30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.

Progressives pressure Schumer to end filibuster

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

A progressive coalition is pressuring Chuck Schumer on his home turf by running a digital billboard in Times Square urging the new majority leader to end the Senate filibuster.

Why it matters: Schumer is up for re-election in 2o22 and could face a challenger, and he's also spearheading his party's broader effort to hold onto its narrow congressional majorities.

5 hours ago - Health

U.S. surpasses 25 million COVID cases

A mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.

The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.