News ID: 217081
Published: 1242 GMT June 22, 2018

UN report: America's poor becoming more destitute under Trump

UN report: America's poor becoming more destitute under Trump

Americans born into poverty are more likely than ever before to stay that way, according to a United Nations report on poverty and inequality in the US.

"The United States, one of the world's richest nations and the "land of opportunity," is fast becoming a champion of inequality," the report concluded, CNN reported.

The administration of Donald Trump has slammed the UN report arguing the organization should instead focus on poverty in the third world.

US Ambassador to the UN Nicki Haley said, "It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America."

The report, presented Thursday in Geneva, comes two days after Haley announced the US would withdraw from the UN human rights council.

Haley's comment was in response to a letter from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and 18 other politicians calling on the US to "take action to reduce shameful levels of poverty across the country."

They argued with the report's conclusion that the Trump administration's $1.5 trillion tax cuts "overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and worsened inequality."

Philip Alston, a New York University law and human rights professor, led a UN study traveling across US. The group went to Puerto Rico and Washington DC — and Alabama, California, Georgia, West Virginia were among the states they also visited.

"Most Americans don't care about it. They have bought the line peddled by conservative groups that poor people deserve what they are getting," Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights told CNN.

The report notes that the US has highest child mortality rate of 20 rich countries (OPEC comparison). It also has among the highest child poverty rates in the developed world at 21 percent. It also considered obesity rates, income inequality and incarceration rates.

Haley said the UN special rapporteur had "categorically misstated" the progress America had made reducing poverty, but she gave no examples.

More than 40 million Americans live in poverty according to the US census.


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