"The View" co-host Sunny Hostin suggested Tuesday that the perceived lack of response to the hurricane destruction in Puerto Rico could be because the island has "a lot of brown people."
Hostin expressed her anguish that the public response to Hurricane Maria's destruction in Puerto Rico has not been the same as the response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas or Irma in Florida.
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"Because Puerto Ricans are United States citizens, I'm just so surprised that there was this swell of support when the hurricanes hit Florida, and hit the mainland," Huston said. "But we have heard silence from so many citizens. It's hurtful."
"What do you think the reason is?" Co-Host Joy Behar quickly asked.
"I hope it's not because Puerto Rico has a lot of brown people," Hostin said.
The crowd murmured audibly in response while Behar pursed her lips and appeared to be taken aback.
"I hate to put it out there, but I really hope that's not the case. The people don't realize these are your brothers and sisters, " she added.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday during a meeting with the House Ways and Means Committee on tax reform that supplies are arriving "on an hourly basis" to Puerto Rico.
Trump told reporters the island was "hit as hard as you can hit," and it is now "literally destroyed."
He said Puerto Rico is "very important," and he will visit the island and possibly the U.S. Virgin Islands next week.
"I grew up in New York so I know many Puerto Ricans," Trump said.
Puerto Rico is "very important to me," he added.
Meanwhile, the media has made efforts to paint Trump in a negative light based on the administrations response to Hurricane Maria.
The U.S. commonwealth has been in talks to gain statehood, but with low turnout in a recent election, Congress has not been convinced to pass a statute that would grant statehood. Puerto Rico has planned to hold another vote on statehood in October, which could potentially give statehood supporters a stronger case to put before Congress.