Change of plans
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is backing out of a controversial scheduled appearance at the Women's Convention next week in Detroit in order to visit Puerto Rico, where in the wake of Hurricane Maria, 3 million people remain without power and 1 million don't have running water.
In a statement, Sanders apologized to the organizers of the convention for having to cancel, adding, "Given the emergency situation in Puerto Rico, I will be traveling there to visit with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz and other officials to determine the best way forward to deal with the devastation the island is experiencing."
The Women's Convention is a three-day event put on by the same organizers behind the Women's March in January. When it was announced that Sanders was speaking on opening night, there was immediate backlash from critics wondering why the honor was given to a man. In response, co-president Tamika Mallory said Sanders was not the convention's headliner, and he was invited because he's a "fierce champion of women's rights." Prominent women appearing at the event include Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and actress and activist Piper Perabo.