Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory weakened by a long recession, has now been knocked out by Hurricane Maria. It desperately needs the extra federal aid that Texas, Louisiana and Florida are getting for Hurricane Harvey's punch. If only Puerto Rico had their political influence.
It's hard to overstate the damage to the island that was already reeling from widespread poverty and government insolvency when Maria hit. Millions of people are without power, which may not come back for months. Hospitals have no running water. Most of the crops have been wiped out. A dam is threatening to break. Gov. Ricardo Rosello says that "this is, without a doubt, the biggest catastrophe in modern history for Puerto Rico."
Puerto Rico's catastrophe is Connecticut's because this state has such a high concentration of islanders living here. Connecticut is sending cargo planes and National Guard members to help, but only Congress has the wherewithal to rebuild the island. Washington has just as great an obligation to help these American citizens as those on the mainland.