Watch CBS News

Lin-Manuel Miranda Says Puerto Rico Relief His 'New Full-Time Gig'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- "Hamilton" creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda visited the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture in Chicago on Wednesday, making a pitch for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico.

"We want our leaders to congratulate themselves when the job is done, not when the job is in process, and we've been frustrated at the slow initial response, but I have to say you go to my Twitter feed, it's like 'It's A Wonderful Life' over there," he said. "By that, I mean kids breaking their piggy banks, employers matching employee donations, people having toy drives and lemonade stands and busking."

Miranda, whose parents are from Puerto Rico, said despite what you might have heard from the president, there is a lot yet to be done on the island.

"Seventy-five percent of the island still has no power, 25 [percent] still has no running water. So we're far from done here, and I'd much rather be telling you about some new musical I'm working on, but this is sort of the new full-time gig for now, until there's a sense of normalcy on the island. This is family, this is our friends, this is who we are, this is where we're from, so this is the gig for the foreseeable future," he said.

His song "Almost Like Praying," which is raising funds for the UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund, debuted as the top song of the week among digital downloads last month.

"I made it my challenge, can we put all 78 towns into a song lyric, and still make you want to dance to it, and buy it?" Miranda said.

Miranda said his family in Puerto Rico still has no power and no running water.

He also discussed his criticism of President Donald Trump on Twitter in the days after Hurricane Maria hit, telling him "you're going straight to hell."

Miranda's tweet came in response to a post by the president claiming Democrats had instructed the mayor of San Juan to be "nasty" to him. The president also criticized leaders in Puerto Rico, and appeared to blame victims of the storm, claiming, "they want everything to be done for them."

Miranda estimated he's posted four negative tweets in his life.

"I've just never seen a president do that. I've never seen a president do anything other than say we're all Americans, we're all working together. So when he said what he said, and began attacking the victims of a natural disaster, those were the only words I had left. They were the only words I had at my disposal in the face of such a thing," he said.

You can donate to the Unidos hurricane relief effort in three ways:

To donate via text, compose a new text message for number 41444. Type UNIDOS (space) YOUR AMOUNT (space) and YOUR NAME. (For example: Unidos 100 John Doe) Then press "send" and click on the link to complete your donation.

To donate via website, visit and select "Hurricane Relief Effort" from the drop-down menu.

To donate in person, visit any Popular Community Bank branch.
Account name: Hurricane Relief Effort.
Checking account number 6810893500

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.