Sit­u­a­tion in Puerto Rico is un­ac­cept­able

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Opinion - Read the full ed­i­to­rial from the Ashtab­ula Star-Bea­con at bit.ly/2A08Ftx

We would never ac­cept it if 75 per­cent of a state’s res­i­dents were still with­out power and al­most a quar­ter were with­out wa­ter more than a month af­ter a nat­u­ral disas­ter. It would be an all-hands-on-deck and it would lead the news ev­ery night.

Well, that is the sit­u­a­tion in Puerto Rico.

We have al­lowed a dis­in­ter­ested fed­eral re­sponse, start­ing from Pres­i­dent Trump down, to turn Puerto Rico’s cri­sis into a sec­ond-tier emer­gency. While the of­fi­cial death toll from Hur­ri­cane Maria is 51, the num­bers don’t in­clude those who have died be­cause of the dev­as­ta­tion left in the storm’s wake — a num­ber some es­ti­mate at close to 900. ... Yes, be­ing an is­land does add com­pli­ca­tions to the re­cov­ery. But that is not an in­vi­ta­tion for a lack­adaisi­cal re­sponse to re­build­ing. It started with re­sis­tance to im­me­di­ately sus­pend­ing what’s known as the Jones Act — which re­quires goods shipped in the United States to be on ves­sels owned, op­er­ated and built by Amer­i­cans — slow­ing down im­me­di­ate ac­cess to aid. ... Sev­enty-five per­cent of Puerto Rico is still with­out power. That is not ac­cept­able, and we must make sure it is not ig­nor­able any longer.

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