President Donald Trump appears to want to make life as difficult as possible for Puerto Ricans recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
According to Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello, the Trump administration has denied a request to allow residents to use food stamps for “ready-to-eat hot meals” like fast food, pre-prepared meals or anything eaten “in-store,” despite a massive food shortage on the island as government aid slowly pours in.
According to the New York Times, around 40 percent of the population (1.3 million people) receive food stamps from the federal SNAP and WIC programs. Puerto Rico has been suffering food, clean water and medical supply shortages in the two weeks since the storm hit the island.
Watch Trump say Puerto Rico officials should be "proud’" more haven’t died like in "a real catastrophe like Katrina." pic.twitter.com/TZ4TCJO9zl
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 3, 2017
Naturally, the Trump administration had no qualms about granting waivers to food stamp recipients in hurricane-stricken areas in Texas and Florida, allowing them to use the programs to purchase ready-to-eat meals after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma (both waiver programs ended on September 30).
The news comes on the same day that President Donald Trump appeared to blame Puerto Rico for “throwing off” the budget after the storm — whether he was joking or not — and after Trump hesitated to lift the Jones Act, which prevents foreign aid from reaching U.S. ports, in the aftermath of Puerto Rico, but did so right away for Texas and Florida after the storms hit those states. Not only that, but the Trump administration required evacuees to pay full fare for flights to safety and held passports as collateral.
So Trump in Puerto Rico today:
– Did his “everybody at the table praise me” routine
– Dissed the San Juan mayor AGAIN
– Called PR expensive
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) October 3, 2017
Trump appears so determined to punish and blame Puerto Rico for its own suffering — while praising his administration’s response the whole way — that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement to Trump: “Stop blaming Puerto Rico for the storm that devastated their shores, and roll up your sleeves and get the recovery on track. That’s your job as president.”