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In a series of tweets, Trump blamed the island for its problems. (Oct. 12, 2017)

The Sun runs an occasional abstract story on the problems facing Puerto Rico. It appears to prefer feel-good stories about thousands of meals being served daily on an island populated by millions; this is like running stories to tell us hundreds of people in Baltimore ate well today. Like most of the mainstream media, at least on the mainland, it ignores the horrible reality still unfolding on U.S. soil. I offer a hint received in an email from a friend who attended a meeting in another city:

"A Puerto Rican woman stood up and told of her trip a couple of weeks ago. Her family was having some sort of emergency, so she visited them for two weeks. She saw a neighbor bury a family member in the back yard because the person's body was beginning to decompose. She says the death toll numbers are a complete fabrication. She reminded us of the power Congress has over Puerto Rico."

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How would you feel if grandma was starting to rot and you had to bury her in the back yard? Would you feel even worse if timely provision of generators and clean water and food might have been all that was needed to save grandma's life and keep her with you for a few years? Would you wish that experience on anyone, let alone your fellow Americans?

Judging by reports in alternative media, FEMA's actions range from incompetent to criminal (though it is not quite clear who put the pallets of food and water in the dumpster instead of distributing them), and people are starting to suggest the government is willfully depopulating the island to facilitate the takeover. Congress has enough authority it could make a difference, always supposing it wanted to. So far it has done nothing very useful.

Neither have most of the mainstream media.

Katharine W. Rylaarsdam

Send letters to the editor to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

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