The federal government has utterly failed in its response to Hurricane Maria's devastation of Puerto Rico, and that negligence appears to be based in bigotry.
A new Washington Post editorial lambasted President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans for visiting hardship and indignity upon American citizens on the island, where about 43 percent of residents have seen cuts to their food-stamp assistance after Congress missed a deadline for reauthorization.
"A searing report by The Post’s Jeff Stein and Josh Dawsey detailed the impacts of the cuts," the editorial explains. "HIV patients made to sit in soiled diapers that health-care workers can’t afford to replace, families forgoing meat and vegetables, worrying if they can afford milk and eating less. A significant portion of those receiving food stamps, research shows, are children, elderly or disabled."
The newspaper called upon Congress to take action to restore those benefits as part of a broader disaster-relief package, and highlighted the starkly different -- and unfair -- treatment Puerto Rico received from the federal government, which has only gotten worse under Trump.
"Mr. Trump’s empathy deficit is well known by now, as is the favoritism he displays toward states that tend to vote Republican," the editorial explains. "But for the government to turn its back on the more than 3 million citizens who have made Puerto Rico their home is essentially turning his bigotry into official policy. And that is a travesty."