NY Times admits to false report that Trump blocked hot meals to Puerto Ricans

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The New York Times released a false report earlier this week stating that the Trump administration was blocking Puerto Rican food stamp recipients from using federal funds for hot meals.

The Times reported on Tuesday that Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló complained that “the federal government had denied a request to allow hurricane victims in Puerto Rico who use food stamps to redeem them at fast-food restaurants and other places that serve prepared hot meals.”

“He [Rosselló ] said he was pursuing the issue with federal officials and was hoping the waiver would come soon,” it was reported.

The original article took the governor’s claim at face value. But later, the publication sheepishly updated it to reflect that the statement was misleading.

“Though Mr. Rosselló said on Tuesday that the federal government had denied a request to allow hurricane victims in Puerto Rico to use food stamps at fast-food restaurants and other places that serve prepared hot meals, officials at the Department of Agriculture, which oversees the federal nutrition program, said they sent a letter to Puerto Rico on Sept. 30 approving a waiver that would allow food-stamp recipients to use their benefits to buy hot food. The agency granted similar waivers following hurricanes in Texas and Florida.”

The Times says the misreport was the result of an editing error.

“Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated the status of a request from Gov. Ricardo Rosselló that the federal government grant a waiver permitting hurricane victims in Puerto Rico to use food stamps at fast-food restaurants.”

“The Department of Agriculture granted the waiver on Sept. 30; it was not still pending on Tuesday,” the correction reads.

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