Trump Really, Really Loves Puerto Rico !!!

Discussion in 'Politics and the Topics of the day' started by MASTERBAKER, Sep 28, 2017.


    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    Poll: Nearly half in US unaware that Puerto Ricans are citizens
    By Rafael Bernal - 09/26/17 12:01 PM EDT 205

    Nearly half of all Americans aren't aware that Puerto Ricans are citizens, according to a new Morning Consult poll.

    The U.S. territory's natural-born residents have been American citizens since 1917. Puerto Rico has been under control of the United States since 1898.

    Puerto Rico's status has received fresh attention over the last week as Hurricane Maria ravaged the island, leaving nearly all its 3.5 million residents without power and in many cases with no way to communicate with the outside world.

    While 54 percent of Americans know that Puerto Ricans are citizens, 47 percent do not know that, according to the poll, which was first reported by The New York Times. Among Americans with a bachelor's degree, 72 percent are aware of citizenship for people on the island.
    The poll found a connection between knowledge of Puerto Ricans' citizenship and a willingness to send emergency aid.

    According to the report, 8 in 10 Americans who know Puerto Ricans are citizens support sending aid, while among those who do not know, 4 in 10 support sending aid.

    Respondents also expressed their support for aid differently if they were first informed that Puerto Ricans are American citizens.

    Among those polled without being informed of citizenship status, 64 percent said the United States should send aid. Another group of respondents were informed of Puerto Ricans' American citizenship before being asked about aid; 68 percent of those respondents favored sending aid.

    Puerto Ricans have all the same rights as U.S. citizens on the mainland, although U.S. citizens living in a territory cannot vote for president. Territories do send representatives to Congress, but they are non-voting, and each territory only gets one representative.

    That means Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (R-P.R.) has the largest constituency of any member of the House, representing about 3.5 million people.

    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    DISGUSTING! He really just did this -- our livelihoods are just a game to him, aren't they??

    What a classless piece of crap he is. Disgusting is not nearly strong enough for his behavior.


    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    EXACTLY! Trump thinks "any sort of assistance that is provided to us is a handout."

    Vivian-Wadeeah Peay I can't fu**ing stand him,EVERYTHING he says or does is a disrespect to people on one level or another [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] and trust me it's his exact intention... I would've tossed it right back or let it fall right on the floor... FU** HIM!!!
    · Reply ·
    · 30 mins · EditedManage
    1 Reply

    Katie Gallello
    OH.MY.GOD. everything about him, the way he's throwing the paper towels, the way he speaks. The way he blamed the people of Puerto Rico today for his budget. Everything about him exudes zero empathy. I cannot wait for the day when him or his family really faced adversity and cannot dig their head out of the hole. It may not happen now but eventually things catch up. I find him to be such an embarrassment. And more importantly my heart breaks for the people of Puerto Rico who not only had to endure such a terrible disaster, but had to have their mayor attacked of San Juan, paper towels thrown in the audience, and blamed for Budget problems
  4. xcluesiv

    xcluesiv Well-Known Member BGOL Investor


    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator


    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    BRAVO!!! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  7. MCP

    MCP International Member ****

    Puerto Rico Relief Bill Cancels $16 Billion in Debt — But Not for Puerto Rico
    David Dayen

    October 11 2017, 5:01 p.m.

    House Republicans unveiled a $36.5 billion disaster relief supplemental package Tuesday night, intended to pay for relief and rebuilding efforts for the floods, hurricanes, and wildfires of the past several months. It includes money for Puerto Rico’s ongoing struggle with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, though only a fraction of that headline number. In fact, $5 billion of the funds earmarked for Puerto Rico comes in the form of a loan, increasing the amount of money the island will eventually need to pay back.

    And in a cruel irony, the bill also contains $16 billion in debt relief — just not for Puerto Rico’s crushing debt.

    The full House chamber will vote on the bill from the House Appropriations Committee this week. Here’s a breakdown of the $36.5 billion in aid that the committee proposed:

    There’s $576.5 million in U.S. Forest Service and Department of Interior grants for wildfire suppression and management. The western U.S. in particular has been rocked by a dangerous wildfire season, including ongoing blazes in Northern California that have killed 17.

    Another $18.67 billion is intended to replenish the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief fund, particularly for events caused by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. That means Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands will share that money, as determined by FEMA. The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general gets $10 million of that for audits and investigations of the use of relief funds.

    Puerto Rico will get a loan of $4.9 billion out of that same pot, money to be used for maintaining basic government operations. President Donald Trump had previously requested that amount in loan form. With practically no tax receipts collected since last month’s hurricane destroyed the island — 85 percent of homes remain without power three weeks after the storm — Puerto Rico faces a cash-flow crisis. Officials estimate that the government could run out of money and have to shut down on October 31.

    This is critical for Puerto Rico, which has had trouble borrowing from private credit markets because of its existing $74 billion debt. But instead of replenishing the coffers with a grant, this is a loan — one Puerto Rico will also need to repay.

    The island will get an additional $150 million loan to cover its matching funds for FEMA grants. Cities and states are required to put a small amount of money into sharing costs for disaster relief. That brings the total of loans to the island up to $5.05 billion. The appropriations committee allotted another $29 million for administrative expenses for the loan.

    The bill includes a provision enabling the Department of Homeland Security and the Treasury Department to decide to cancel the loan, but that’s no guarantee. And those two agencies set the terms of repayment; while news reports have described a “low-interest” loan, there’s no set interest rate in the text of the bill.

    If you’re keeping up with the math, that leaves $13.58 billion of the $18.67 billion in disaster relief. Puerto Rico would have to share that amount with two far more populous states and another territory.

    There is one definitive grant to Puerto Rico in the bill: $1.27 billion for “disaster nutrition assistance,” which is basically an extension of the food stamp program for citizens affected by the hurricane. This type of assistance is standard for disaster areas in the continental United States but needs to be enumerated for the territory.

    The final $16 billion in the bill goes to the National Flood Insurance Program, battered by claims payouts from the season’s hurricanes, particularly in Houston after Harvey. And this is where the bill takes on an almost comic level of bad optics.

    The way the flood insurance program works is that homeowners pay premiums and file claims when they encounter flood damage. Because premiums are too low and people still build in flood plains over and over, the program has not been able to keep up. So NFIP took out a line of credit with the Treasury Department — capped by law at $30.4 billion — to cover claims. Last month, NFIP reached that borrowing ceiling.

    Funds to pay claims are expected to run out this month, so the House bill cancels $16 billion of NFIP’s debt. “To the extent of the amount cancelled … the National Flood Insurance Fund are relieved of all liability to the Secretary of the Treasury under any such notes or other obligations,” the bill states. “The amount of the indebtedness cancelled … may be treated as public debt of the United States.”

    This is like the famous meme of the guy checking out a girl with his girlfriend standing right next to him, only the guy is the GOP, the girl he’s checking out is the NFIP, and the girlfriend is Puerto Rico. In a bill intended to give relief to Puerto Rico, the island gets a thin amount of guaranteed aid and a vague level of other funding, along with $5 billion in loans. Meanwhile, in the words of President Donald Trump, the NFIP gets its debt “wiped out.”

    The difference between NFIP and Puerto Rico is that the Treasury Department holds the former’s debt, while the island owes money to private investors. Still, Congress has the ability to change the terms of Puerto Rico’s current bankruptcy-style process, or even to buy up that debt eminent domain-style for what it deems just compensation, only to cancel it later. And Congress could certainly give Puerto Rico grants rather than another $5 billion in loans to deal with. Meanwhile, creditors will be lining up to try to claim portions of the aid intended for Puerto Rico, a complication Democrats in Congress are working to sort out. Getting their hedge-fund hands on the loan money could legally prove more difficult.

    The House will vote on the bill this week, and the Senate is likely to follow next week. The bill is in line with White House requests for disaster aid and bridge funding for Puerto Rico, so Trump would likely sign it.

    Meanwhile, activist groups have turned their focus to Puerto Rico, with environmental groups demanding mass debt relief from Congress and teaming up with community organizations for a national day of action.

    Top photo: A man walks through a road that has been turned into a river caused by heavy rains after Hurricane Maria passed through on Oct. 6, 2017 in Utuado, Puerto Rico.
    Camille likes this.
  8. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    How is that relief coming ???
  9. ViCiouS

    ViCiouS Well-Known Member BGOL Investor

    We took a look at the numbers, and they didn’t add up.
    Updated by Eliza Barclay and Alexia Fernández Campbell Oct 11, 2017, 2:50pm EDT

    Death tolls are the primary way we understand the impact of a disaster. And for nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, as a humanitarian crisis was intensifying, the death toll was frozen at 16.

    “Sixteen people certified,” Trump said on October 3 during his visit to the island, repeating a figure confirmed by the territory’s governor. "Everybody watching can really be very proud of what's taken place in Puerto Rico."

    It was a moment that crystallized two conflicting narratives about the Puerto Rico disaster. The first one, from the federal government and Puerto Rico’s governor, is of a disaster that’s been managed well, with lives being saved and hospitals getting back up and running.

    Lives surely have been saved in the response. But images and reports from the ground tell a story of people, cut off from basic supplies and health care, dying. They tell of hospitalsrunning out of medication and fuel for their generators and struggling to keep up with the “avalanche of patients that came after the hurricane,” as one journalist put it.

    The death toll from the hurricane isnow up to 45, according to Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. But 90 percent of the 3.4 million American citizens on the island still don’t have power, and 35 percent still don’t have water to drink or bathe in. And given how deadly power outages can be, 45 deaths seems low, according to disaster experts.

    At Vox, we decided to compare what the government has been saying with other reports of deaths from the ground. We searched Google News for reports of deaths in English and Spanish media from Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria. We found reports of a total of 81 deaths linked directly or indirectly to the hurricane. Of those, 45 were the deaths certified by the government. The remaining 36 deaths were confirmed by local public officials or funeral directors, according to the reports. We also found another 450 reported deaths, most of causes still unknown, and reports of at least 69 people still missing.

    The broader issue here relates to how storm deaths are counted. There are clear deaths from the storm, clear deaths indirectly from the storm, and then deaths that are harder to determine — for instance, a sick patient who died in a hospital experiencing frequent power outages. And then there’s the issue of how effective authorities are at finding and investigating the deaths to make sure they’re included in the count. The breakdown of these categories suggests that the government is being much more cautious in designating deaths as directly or indirectly hurricane-related, given the public information available.

    At a Sunday news conference, Karixia Ortiz, press officer for the Department of Public Safety, said that “every death must be confirmed by the Institute of Forensic Science, which means either the bodies have to be brought to San Juan to do an autopsy or a medical examiner must be dispatched to the local municipality to verify the death,” according to an audio recording obtained by Huffington Post.

    John Mutter, a disaster researcher at Columbia University who studied the death toll in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, says he’s skeptical of this methodology. “This is the way to go about it if you want to come up with smallest number possible,” he said, adding he suspects the death toll in Puerto Rico from Maria should already be in the hundreds based on what’s known about the conditions on the ground.

    Our review of reports certainly suggests the real death toll is far higher than what the government has, thus far, estimated:

    • In our search of local and US news reports, we found 36 deaths attributed to the hurricane in addition to the official 43. We cross-checked news accounts with the official death reports to make sure they didn't overlap.
    • NPR reported an additional 49 bodies with unidentified cause of death sent to a hospital morgue since the storm.
    • The Los Angeles Times reported 50 more deaths than normal in one region in the three days after the hurricane.
    • Puerto Rico's Center for Investigative Reporting reported 69 hospital morgues are at “capacity.” Exact figure is unknown.
    • According to El Vocero newspaper, 350 bodies are being stored at the Institute of Forensic Sciences (equivalent to the state medical examiner's office), many of which are still awaiting autopsies. In the report, Héctor Pesquera, secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Public Safety, did not say how many, if any, of the cadavers were there before the storm. (On Sunday, Pesquera denied claims that there was a backlog of unexamined bodies.)
    “I don’t think there will be hundreds of deaths, but we will see,” Pesqueratoldreporters on Sunday. “We can’t speculate if there will be 100 or 200.”

    Meanwhile, the situation on the ground remains life-threatening in some areas. And reporters and first responders are continuing to paint a much more aggressive picture about life and death on the island.

    "It's horrible, it's horrible. It's a nightmare," a resident of the town of Atlaya told CBS on Tuesday. "There's barely any drinking water, not even in supermarkets; my fear is for my kids," another said.

    Given the disparity in storylines, it’s worth taking a hard look at the numbers.

    The best way to count storm deaths, according to a disaster researcher
    There are no state or federal guidelines in the US for calculating storm death tolls for the medical examiners usually responsible for determining what constitutes a storm-related death. (And partly because many storm-related deaths aren’t recorded by the systems in place, the “official” Hurricane Katrina death toll is widely regarded as inaccurately low.)

    Because we’ve had trouble reaching officials in Puerto Rico, it’s been difficult to decipher what exactly the process is for documenting and attributing deaths to disasters. But it is clear that the hurricane has disrupted it and that the government is now insisting that every body be inspected directly by the Institute of Forensic Sciences in San Juan before any death is attributed to the storm.

    Mutter, the disaster researcher at Columbia, said that it’s very difficult after the fact to separate out deaths that would have happened anyway. “If they’re dismissing ones that would have happened anyway, that’s cheating,” he said.

    The ideal way to calculate the death toll from the storm, he says, is to count all the deaths in the time since the event, and then compare that number to the average number of deaths in the same time period from previous years. Subtract the average number from the current number and that’s the death toll.

    “When I first started hearing the deaths were only 16, and then 34, I thought there was something wrong,” he said. “Maria was bigger than the two previous storms, Harvey and Irma. And there’s no way to evacuate an island. All those people are still there. And then you look at damage and it’s profound. And now they’re saying only 45 people died, you’re saying come on, it couldn’t be.”

    We found credible reports of additional hurricane-related deaths
    In a review of local and national news reports that cite local officials and funeral directors around Puerto Rico, Vox identified at least 36 people who may have died in connection to the hurricane who are not accounted for in the official tally.
    In some of these cases, local public officials named the victims and gave specific details. In other reports, details were scarce. It’s not clear why these deaths were not included in the official death toll. (A media representative for the governor’s office did not respond to an inquiry from Vox.)

    • The mayor of Toa Baja told El Nuevo Día newspaper that at least nine people died after the storm. One man was dragged by a flood current, and eight others drowned. Residents confirmed these deaths to reporters and named some of the victims. The official death count only includes one drowning in Toa Baja.
    • In Añasco, at least four people drowned as they tried to rescue people after the storm.
    • In Canónavanas, the mayor reported that two elderly people died from panic attacks. The official death count only mentioned one person who died from respiratory problems in this town.
    • The director of federal programs for the town of Barceloneta told Primera Hora that three sick people had recently died, including two with cancer, because they didn’t have access to the proper medical care after the hurricane.
    • In Lajas, an elderly man died because he couldn't get oxygen at a local shelter.
    • The mayor of Caguas told the Washington Post that a diabetic person died in a hurricane shelter because he didn't have access to medical care, and two other people killed themselves.
    • Two funeral home directors in the town of Jayuya told a BuzzFeed reporter that the hurricane had directly or indirectly killed at least 18 people there in the past two weeks, including several people who died because they couldn’t get enough water, oxygen, or dialysis treatments. Only one of these deaths — a man who died in a landslide — was included in the government death count.
    • The mayor of San Juan told CNN that two people died in a local hospital's intensive care unit because it ran out of diesel fuel. The official death count only mentions one death in San Juan from lack of access to medical care.
    There are reports of another 450 who died of undetermined causes
    News reports cite the deaths of more than 450 additional people since the hurricane, and 69 people have been reported missing. The additional deaths could be people who died as a direct result of the hurricane, or indirectly from the hurricane, or people who would have died even without the storm. For example, we found a report of one person who died because she didn't have enough oxygen tanks — this would count as an indirect death.

    Here’s how we came up with figure of at least 450:

    • An NPR reporter shadowed doctors at the Pavia Arecibo Hospital in Arecibo this week, where the lack of air conditioning was exacerbating patients' health problems. The hospital administrator told NPR there are 49 bodies at the hospital morgue from deaths after the storm. It's unclear how many were directly or indirectly linked to the storm.
    • A reporter from the Los Angeles Times recently visited Lajas — a rural town on the southwestern side of the island — where elderly people can't get access to enough oxygen and insulin. The local funeral director said that at least 100 people had died in the area within three days of the storm’s passage, which is 50 percent higher than the area's normal death rate.
    • Puerto Rico's medical examiners' office doesn't have enough staff to examine the cadavers or enough room to store them. Some 350 bodies were said to be at the Institute of Forensic Science, but it wasn’t clear how many were there before the storm.
    • A reporter for the Center for Investigative Reporting in Puerto Rico spoke to doctors in half a dozen hospitals who said bodies are piling up at the morgues of the 69 hospitals in Puerto Rico. The majority of the hospital morgues that provided information are at full capacity.

    Why there’s likely to be many more storm-related deaths
    We’ll probably never know precisely how many people’s lives were cut short by the disaster and the slow response. But even three weeks later, the aftermath of the storm is threatening people’s health.

    Erin Carrera, a nurse volunteer with National Nurses United who was just in the town of Utuado, had this report Wednesday:

    People are somehow surviving with the food and medicine they had on hand. They have received NO provisions. There is no running water and no electricity. Nobody is aware of the risks of drinking untreated water. We went house-to-house teaching families and asking that they spread the word. We also provided urgent care where we could. These communities are at great risk of water born illness epidemics. They need clean water that is safe to drink! There is a public health crisis coming to Puerto Rico that we could prevent with proper supplies and support from the US government. These conditions would not be tolerated in the 50 states. It is outrageous that we are leaving our fellow Americans with essentially no aid.

    Indeed, as each day passes, Puerto Ricans on the island without clean water are becoming more susceptible to disease, says Andrea Dunne-Sosa, who is overseeing a medical relief team from Project HOPE, which deployed to the island after the storm. Two of the most recent official deaths were attributed to an outbreak of a bacterial infection called leptospirosis.

    Like Carrera, she also found that food and water in some towns were still in short supply. "They were eating the crumbs of the last slice of bread," said Dunne-Sosa, describing a family in the coastal town of Loaiza. "There's a lot of fear about what's still to come."

    CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta also described his fears of a much higher death toll in an essay he wrote after visiting Puerto Rico and meeting many very sick people. “There may be tens of thousands of hardy people who survived the hurricane and are now struggling to stay alive in its aftermath,” he wrote. “They are teetering on the edge, with hardly any reserve.”

    The question is whether they will be part of the official
    story, or the unofficial one.

    On Thursday, a day after Vox published this piece, two members of Congress announcedthey were requesting an audit of the Puerto Rico death toll, citing Vox’s findings. “It would be morally reprehensible to intentionally underreport the true death toll to portray relief efforts as more successful than they are,” wrote Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS). “If, on the contrary, this information has benignly been muddled due to a lack of capacity on the island, then the federal government must work hand-in-hand with Puerto Rico's government to provide a clearer assessment.”

  10. ballscout1

    ballscout1 Well-Known Member BGOL Investor

    There Are Parts Of The Island They Haven't Even Tried To Go to.

    They are purposely trying to minimize
  11. ViCiouS

    ViCiouS Well-Known Member BGOL Investor

  12. ViCiouS

    ViCiouS Well-Known Member BGOL Investor

    Puerto Rico's Government Just Admitted 911 People Died After The Hurricane — Of "Natural Causes"

    The 911 bodies were never physically examined by a medical examiner to determine if they should be included in the official death toll.

    The Puerto Rican government told BuzzFeed News Friday that it allowed 911 bodies to be cremated since Hurricane Maria made landfall, and that not one of them were physically examined by a government medical examiner to determine if it should be included in the official death toll.

    Every one of the 911 died of "natural causes" not related to the devastating storm, said Karixia Ortiz Serrano, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety who is also speaking for the Institute of Forensic Sciences — which is in charge of confirming hurricane deaths. The "natural causes" designations were made by reviewing records, not actually examining the bodies, she said...

    From Sept. 20 — when the hurricane made landfall — to Oct. 18 "the medical examiner authorized 911 cremations of natural deaths. Keep in mind that not all the bodies of the persons who died in [Puerto Rico] goes to the [medical examiner]. But by law the [medical examiner] give the authorization for cremations," said Ortiz in a statement to BuzzFeed News Friday. The statement was first reported by CBS News.

    And the government has no specific criteria on what counts and what doesn't count as a hurricane-related death, she told BuzzFeed News in an earlier interview, making it impossible to know whether those cases were in fact hurricane-related deaths...

    ...In a brief press conference Friday night, Puerto Rico's governor Ricardo Rosselló was asked about the lack of review for 911 bodies that were cremated.

    He said he was unaware of the number, and that he would be speaking with officials at the Institute of Forensic Sciences to address the issue.

    "I didn't know the number, but certainly some of the deaths could have been for natural causes," he told reporters in Spanish. "Those would obviously not be counted with the deaths that were a direct or indirect product of the hurricane."

    The funeral home and crematorium directors BuzzFeed News spoke to over the past two weeks all said they've received no official guidance instructing them to send hurricane victims to the institute — and the government said they've sent no guidance to them.

    Without guidance, different funeral home and crematorium directors told BuzzFeed News they had vastly different ideas of what they considered hurricane-related deaths. Some said they counted heart attacks and people who died for lack of oxygen because there was no power, while others said they counted those as "natural deaths."

    Disaster death toll experts told BuzzFeed News cases should definitely be counted, and that they were in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

    Other fatalities included on the government's official death toll include three heart attacks, one that's listed as "difficulty breathing" and several who died due to a lack of oxygen or electricity for their oxygen or dialysis machines...



    Puerto Rico Is Burning Its Dead, And We May Never Know How Many People The Hurricane Really Killed

    AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico — Funeral directors and crematoriums are being permitted by the Puerto Rican government to burn the bodies of people who died as a result of Hurricane Maria — without those people being counted in the official death toll.

    The result is a massive loophole likely suppressing the official death count, which has become a major indicator of how the federal government’s relief efforts are going...

    ...staff at the only crematorium in the municipality, Crem del Caribe, said they were given permission by the forensic institute to cremate at least 42 bodies of other people who had died as a result of the hurricane. That included people who died due to a lack of oxygen supply, failure of dialysis and oxygen machines because of the lack of electricity, and people who died of heart attacks...

    ...“If you wanted to make the count as small as possible that’s the way to go about it,” Mutter, the Columbia professor, said about lack of uniform procedure and communication about certifying hurricane-related deaths. “Because somebody’s sitting there saying, this is a disaster death, this one is not.”

    Mutter said that based on Puerto Rico’s poverty level and the strength of the storm, he would have expected the death toll to be in the hundreds by now.

    “In fact there’s a lot of deaths that come from the exacerbation of preexisting conditions by the trauma of the disaster event. And they are normally counted. They ended up being counted in Katrina. They are considered disaster deaths. If you take them out you get a small number,” he said...
  13. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Puerto Rico, lost in limbo


    Puerto Ricans are Americans, but have a vague legal status that will impair the island's recovery. Here's everything you need to know:

    Why is Puerto Rico part of the U.S.?

    Puerto Ricans had no choice in the matter. A Spanish colony since Ponce de León established a settlement there in 1508, Puerto Rico had just acquired voting rights and its own constitution in 1898 when the U.S. invaded the island during the Spanish-American War. The generals promised the locals — descendants of Spanish colonists, former slaves, and indigenous Taino — a free future, and many sided with the U.S. against Spanish rule. But once the war was over, and Spain had ceded the island along with the Philippines and Guam, the U.S. did not recognize the local parliament and instead set up a colonial administration. The U.S. president appointed governors, who chose their own cabinets. Puerto Rico was effectively a colony and officially a territory.

    Why isn't it a state?

    For racial reasons. Most U.S. territories did become states; Oklahoma, for example, became a territory in 1890 and a state in 1907. The difference was that Oklahoma was settled largely by English-speaking whites, who displaced the Native Americans. Starting in 1901, the same Supreme Court that had approved "separate but equal" segregation for black Americans, in the infamous Plessy v. Fergusoncase, ruled in a series of decisions that Puerto Rico and other territories that were "inhabited by alien races" were not ready to be governed by "Anglo-Saxon principles." Puerto Rico was declared an "unincorporated territory" — different from the Alaskan and Hawaiian incorporated territories — and the path to statehood was closed off. Unlike Plessy v. Ferguson, the Insular Cases, as these rulings are known, were never overturned.

    Can Puerto Ricans vote?

    Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens from birth, thanks to a law passed in 1917 partly aimed at allowing them to serve in the Army during World War I. But they have no voting representation in Congress, and they can't vote for president unless they move to the mainland. While they don't pay federal income taxes, Puerto Ricans do pay some $3 billion annually to the federal government in Medicare, Social Security, and other taxes. They are eligible for U.S. public assistance programs, and receive about $20 billion a year in such aid, with 40 percent of the poverty-stricken population getting food stamps. After World War II, when colonies around the world were gaining independence, Congress allowed Puerto Rico to write and adopt its own constitution, with its own bill of rights. That constitution calls Puerto Rico a commonwealth, but the legal status of that term was never quite nailed down, leaving it in limbo.

    Why does that hurt the island?

    The biggest problem is that Puerto Rico can't fully control its own economy. During the first few decades under U.S. administration, authorities imposed a colonial structure of sugar plantations, which hurt other local industries. In the 1970s and '80s, the territory benefited from U.S. tax exemptions that encouraged pharmaceutical firms and other corporations to locate there, but when Congress started phasing those out in 1996, manufacturing declined and the economy tanked. The territory's elected leaders began making up the shortfall by issuing bonds, creating a ballooning debt of more than $70 billion. Bankruptcy rules that allow cities such as Detroit to restructure debt don't apply to Puerto Rico, and rather than change that, Congress passed the PROMESA law last year, creating an oversight board that took financial control entirely away from local authority and imposed severe austerity.

    What status do Puerto Ricans want?

    They are divided. Some want statehood, some independence, and others a commonwealth option that would allow them to retain U.S. citizenship but enable them to make their own treaties with foreign countries. There's no majority for any of the options. The latest vote was this past June, but most factions boycotted. The result was a 97 percent vote for statehood — but with turnout of just 23 percent. The devastation from Hurricane Maria, though, may change the island forever. Already, the Puerto Ricans on the mainland — some 5 million — outnumbered the island's population of 3.4 million. With 80 percent of people still lacking power, 30 percent without water, and thousands of businesses destroyed, many Puerto Ricans with the means to leave are fleeing to the mainland.

    What's Puerto Rico's future?

    Right now, it looks grim. Puerto Ricans are furious at what they see as a slow FEMA response, as well as at President Trump's insinuation that they, unlike hurricane victims in Texas and Florida, will have to pay back any aid they receive. Activists are putting pressure on Congress to relax the rules that deny Puerto Rico the recourses a state would have. The Jones Act, which bars foreign ships from delivering goods to the island, has been temporarily waived, but could be repealed. Debt restructuring is under discussion. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló warns that without significant aid to rebuild the island's infrastructure, reduce its debt, and revive its economy, there will be a mass exodus. "You're not going to get hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans moving to the States," Rosselló said. "You're going to get millions."

    The Navy's toxic legacy

    For decades, the U.S. Navy had a major base on Puerto Rico, and used the territory's nearby Vieques Island as a bombing range. The Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, opened by FDR in 1940, was a launchpad for the U.S. invasions of the Dominican Republic in 1965, Grenada in 1983, and Haiti in 1994, and it boosted Puerto Rico's economy. But Vieques residents said the relentless bombing was destroying the environment, and after a stray bomb killed a civilian and prompted major protests, the Navy closed the base in 2004. Vieques is now a Superfund site contaminated with lead, Agent Orange, and depleted uranium. Its 9,000 residents have rates of cancer that are 27 percent higher than those for the rest of Puerto Rico, and testing reveals that many people's bodies have toxic levels of lead, arsenic, and mercury. But the U.S. government denies any connection between the bombing and the high cancer rates, saying its own studies revealed "no apparent public health hazard."

  14. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    'Get Us Out Of Here': Amid Broken Infrastructure, Puerto Ricans Flee To Florida

    October 13, 201710:38 AM ET

    Glisela Vega Rivera and her three children wait to board a flight to Miami.

    Thousands of Puerto Ricans have poured into Florida after Hurricane Maria. More than 27,000 have arrived through Port Everglades and the Miami and Orlando airports alone since Oct. 3, according to the governor's office.


  15. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Puerto Rico residents fleeing to Florida after Hurricane Maria

    By Faith Karimi, CNN

    CNN — Tens of thousands of Puerto Rico residents are fleeing to Florida after Hurricane Maria, leaving behind an island that is still struggling to regain power more than one month after the storm.

    About 70% of the US territory, which is home to approximately 3.4 million US citizens, is still without power. Many do not have access to reliable drinking water.

    "Since October 3, 2017, more than 73,000 individuals arrived in Florida from Puerto Rico through Miami International Airport, Orlando International Airport and the Everglades Port," Florida Gov. Rick Scott's office said in a statement.



    They could MAKE FLORIDA BLUE AGAIN !!!

  16. MCP

    MCP International Member ****


    Bernie Sanders, in Puerto Rico, Calls for Nullification of Whitefish Contract

    Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday demanded Congress do everything in its power to nullify a $300 million rebuilding contract between Puerto Rico and Whitefish Energy Holdings, a two-person Montana energy company with little experience in large-scale grid repair.

    “From everything that I have seen, I think it’s an outrage,” Sanders said after a press conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “I think the idea that the government or the appropriate authority did not look for mutual aid and call up utility companies in the United States, which is what is normally done, surprises me.”

    Sanders, who’s a member of both the Senate Energy and Environment and Public Works Committees, said that Congress “sure can hold hearings and we sure can do everything that we can” to push to nullify the contract.

    “It smells badly to me,” he added. “We’ll be looking at every aspect of this contract. I am on the energy committee we will be demanding hearings as well.”

    The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, known as PREPA, opted to hire a for-profit company to restore electricity to Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million residents instead of going for a “mutual aid” agreement that has helped others rebuild after natural disasters.

    “The kind of compensation packages that we are looking at seems to be extraordinarily high,” Sanders said. “We learned today that apparently there was a provision in the contract that says the government cannot audit the profits or the salaries that are taking place which is simply not acceptable, and in fact is illegal. This is federal money. And our job is to make sure that Puerto Rico is rebuilt as quickly as possible, as effectively as possible, as cost-effectively as possible.”

    Under the contract, Whitefish is charging $330 an hour for a site supervisor and $227.88 an hour for a “journeyman lineman.” Subcontractors, which make up most of Whitefish’s workforce, cost $462 per hour for a supervisor and $319.04 for a lineman.

    “Now what I worry about, not only in Puerto Rico, but when billions of dollars comes in to reconstruction, there are people out there who are going to try to make as much money as they possibly can, in any way possible,” Sanders said. “And our job is to say, ‘No.’ This is taxpayer dollars. Money has got to be spent cost effectively the money should not go — excessive profits should not be going to into the hands of large companies. That money should be used to improve the lives of the people impacted.”

    The Trump administration has already distanced itself from the contract. The White House, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke all said Puerto Rican officials were responsible for having signed the deal. Zinke, who comes from the same Montana town as Whitefish Energy, said he had “absolutely nothing” to do with the company receiving the contract.

    Sanders addressed both the island’s immediate and long-term needs after meeting with locals and government officials during his visit to San Juan on Friday. He pointed out that besides water, electricity, food, and opening up schools, the process of reconstruction should also deal with figuring out how to adopt sustainable energy sources and rebuild housing that won’t be blown away in the next hurricane.

    “It is no secret that before the hurricane, Puerto Rico faced very, very serious economic problems,” he said. “Poverty rates, very high, higher now. Unemployment rates much, much too high. Puerto Rico is saddled with a debt of some $73 billion.” Sanders went on, “It would be absolutely unacceptable for the vulture funds on Wall Street to squeeze this island dry and take resources that are desperately needed here for education and housing and infrastructure to give it to greedy, greedy people on Wall Street.”

    As for the $4.9 billion loan Senate passed last week as part of a $36.5 billion hurricane relief bill, Sanders said it’s his expectation that the loan “will be converted into a grant” or “forgiven as a loan.”

    In three or so weeks, Sanders said, there will be a big debate in Congress over a supplemental disaster relief package, which will include substantially more money for Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas, and the Virgin Islands.

    Top photo: Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., walks over debris caused by the passing of Hurricane Maria through the area during a visit with the Mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulin to the Playita community in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on October 27, 2017.

  17. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Well, what says the Islanders regarding this procurement???

  18. thoughtone

    thoughtone BGOL Veteran Registered

    I saw a reporter on CNN interview a young women who was standing outside a voting precinct in Florida, who said she was Puerto Rican on election day 2016. She claimed that it didn't matter if she voted or not, since Hillary was guaranteed to win. She said Hillary stole the nomination from Sanders and didn't deserve her vote anyway. She also said that both parties were the same and nothing was going to change.


    I wonder if she is one of those that is pissing and moaning about Trump now?
  19. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    I believe you answered that here:

  20. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

  21. ViCiouS

    ViCiouS Well-Known Member BGOL Investor

  22. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    The Puerto Rican migration could shape Florida politics for years to come

    November 18, 2017

    In the wish lists of Democratic strategists, one imagines the arrival of tens of thousands of Democratic-leaning voters to Florida, seemingly overnight, ranks pretty high.

    Two months after Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island, new data suggests that's exactly what's happened.

    Figures on school enrollment provided to CNN from the Florida Department of Education suggest that well over 50,000 Puerto Ricans have moved to Florida and made it their residence heading into the midterm election next year.

    These voters are likely to be strong Democrat supporters, as an analysis by Dan Smith, a University of Florida professor, found that heavily-Puerto Rican districts only gave 15 to 35% support to Trump.

    Counting the number of school children arriving from Puerto Rico is a good way to understand how Florida's electorate will change due to Hurricane Maria. "School enrollment is the best indicator for long-term settlement," said Edwin Melendez, director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York.

    More than 6,500 Puerto Rican children have enrolled in Florida schools as of November 14. The data shows a strong continuing trend: A week earlier, the figure stood at 5,600. A week before that, it was 4,300. The evidence suggests that substantially more children are enrolled at this point as this kind of data can have a lag and has reporting gaps, Melendez said.

    With a colleague, Melendez found that if 9,600 Puerto Rican children enroll in schools, that means a total of about 41,000 Puerto Ricans migrated to Florida. On the high end, if 15,400 students enroll, an estimated 83,000 Puerto Ricans migrated. There is a very high probability based on the current trend that the lower estimate will be surpassed by next November.

    Migration at this level will mean Republicans face an even harsher demographic shift in a state already trending away from them. Hispanics constituted an estimated 12% of the eligible voter population in Florida in 2000. Before the Hurricane, that number was expected to double by 2030.​

    "It's a little more headwind for Republicans who were already grappling with an increasingly Democratic population," said Rob Griffin, director of quantitative analysis at the Center for American Progress and contributor to the States of Change project.

    President Trump won Florida by just more than 100,000 votes. President George W. Bush, of course, won Florida in a contest with the margin of the vote so slim the result went to the Supreme Court.

    Of course, not everyone who moves to Florida from Puerto Rico will vote, or is even of age to register to vote. But the effects go beyond just vote turnout.

    "The demographic change to Florida has the potential to affect Federal and state elections," said Michael McDonald, professor of political science at the University of Florida, who maintains the United States Election Project. When the 2020 Census is released, continued population growth in the areas where Puerto Ricans live will likely mean more districts at the state and Congressional levels are drawn favorably for Democrats, he added.

    Several news articles show that already more than 150,000 people have moved to Florida from Puerto Rico. But those figures are likely too high, say experts following the migration. Numbers in that range are often provided by the Florida Division of Emergency Management but only count travel through Florida airports from Puerto Rico. They do not show the number of people who have moved to Florida and settled there, which is more important to understanding who will vote there.

    Melendez's analysis looks at past exoduses to make its estimates. Just look at Hurricane Katrina for an illustrative example. A year after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the city's population declined by over 50%. In the 10 months following Katrina, New Orleans lost over 90,000 jobs or one-third of employment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    © 2017 Cable News Network, Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.

  23. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Thousands Of People Were Supposed To Regain Power In Puerto Rico On Saturday.

    They Didn’t.

    BuzzFeed News Reporter

    ARECIBO, Puerto Rico — More than five months after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, thousands of residents in the municipality of Arecibo continue to live without electricity — and a plan for a short-term microgrid fix was delayed at the last minute on Saturday.

    The broken promises from local authorities, the island’s power authority, and federal agencies is wearing thin on people here, who are US citizens.
    President Trump’s most recent substantial comments about Puerto Rico — he has so far pushed a false, rosy picture of the recovery — were in November, when he said the territory was “doing well” and “and it’s healing, and it’s getting better, and we’re getting them power, and all of the things that they have to have.”

    Arecibo congressman José ‘Memo’ González Mercado told BuzzFeed News, “the reality is that we are US citizens but Donald Trump treats us as second-class class citizens.”

    González was certain that the power would be restored to close to 10,000 residents of his northwest coast municipality of around 88,000, on Saturday. Some 35% of residents in Arecibo don’t have electricity, he said. González said he had word from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority that one of the region’s substations, Charco Hondo, would receive a generator from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to power a temporary microgrid while repairs on the substation continue.

    “Four months is way too much time for people in Puerto Rico to not have energy. All of us, the representatives, the mayors, the people, the senators, have to raise our voices to get things done,” he said.
    González reached an agreement in December with PREPA to temporarily restore power by means of the microgrid. Earlier this week, he called out the utility in a statement to local reporters for not yet complying. On Saturday, he planned to tour the substation with PREPA’s interim director, Justo González, as the generator was being installed.

    But in another example of the disfunction that has plagued Puerto Rico’s recovery, the day didn’t go quite as planned. With no sign of the generator or PREPA’s interim director at the Charco Hondo substation, thousands of residents of Arecibo remained in darkness, like 32% of the island — more than a million people. There’s no clear idea of when they could expect to regain power.

    A spokesperson for PREPA told BuzzFeed News that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was overseeing the project and providing the generator, and that it was unclear where PREPA director Justo González was on Saturday.

    A spokesperson for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that after a second inspection of the site, they had decided that there was too much damage to the nearby power lines to allow the generator to be safely switched on as planned on Saturday. He said contractors will “begin installing” the generator over the weekend but that it won’t be operational—and that USACE “cannot give a definitive time” when it will be switched on.

    “The microgrid will be energized once it is determined that a section can be safely utilized without the risk of harming anyone within the community. USACE cannot give a definitive time, but we are working tirelessly to complete the project as soon as possible,” USACE Public Affairs Officer Luciano Vera told BuzzFeed News in a statement.
    The Mayor of Arecibo, Carlos Molina did not respond to a request for comment.

    In La Planta, the leafy, semi-rural neighborhood that houses the substation on Saturday, a crew of linemen including workers from a Missouri-based company, RS Electric, worked on repairing power lines — to both prepare for the microgrid and as an essential part of the long-term restoration of the island’s infrastructure. Jose González expects it to take another two to three months before the permanent grid is repaired.

    Local residents stood in their doorways and on their patios watching the workers cut away dead cables and loose wooden poles above.

    “What government? There is no government, nobody tells us anything,” said resident, Jose González, 28, laughing when asked if he’d heard from any authorities about when power will come back to his parents’ home in La Planta.

    “In San Juan they’re doing okay but once you get out into the countryside, the mountains, they don’t even know that we exist,” he said. The family is one of those without power for more than four months now.
    González’s mother, Marise Martinez, 48, added that it’s been exhausting living without electricity since September. Like several of their neighbors, they said they’ve become accustomed to living in darkness: at around 7 p.m., as the sun goes down, most people in this neighborhood retreat to their homes and lock their doors.

    A lineman who’s been in Puerto Rico for a month working on the cables in Arecibo and Manati — about a 30 minute drive west — was not impressed with what he’s seen of the Army Corps’ work on the grid.

    Moses Salinas, one of the lead linemen working on the project for RS Electric, said the Army Corps told them to expect a generator on Saturday.
    “They told us this Saturday but you gotta remember there’s 12 months and a bunch of Saturdays, so…” he said ironically.

    He said PREPA is rarely on site, and criticized the Army Corps.

    “You’ve got people out here that don’t know power line work,” he said. “The Army Corps, they don’t belong here,” he said. “They don’t know what they’re looking at. They don’t know how much voltage this line has. They don’t know that. They’ll come talk to us, ‘How would you do it?’ You’re the engineers, you’re supposed to tell me how to do it!”

    He said he’s frustrated by the lack of materials linemen have to rebuild the power lines.

    “They expect you to build a house, they say here’s a shovel, build a two-story house. Here they only give you a handful of materials and say, build power lines,” he said.

    Jose González, the representative for Arecibo, blamed bureaucracy. “The reality is that the bureaucracy of the USAC has been way too slow. They’re too slow and the people need them to be more efficient, at least for energy and water,” he said.
    Residents in parts of Arecibo that depend on the Charco Hondo substation are somewhat resigned to not having clear information about when they’ll go back to living with electricity. Most didn’t know about the possible microgrid installation on Saturday. People said they generally get updates by stopping utility workers they see on the road or through friends and gossip.

    “Someone told me it was coming on the the 13th, but they didn’t say the 13th of which month or which year,” said Hector González, 58, in Bajadero, where he was waiting out the rain on a patio with a friend on Saturday afternoon.

    At a shop down the road, Hector Serrano said he regained electricity at his garden shop about two weeks ago, though just his business and the three buildings around it have power. His home, five minutes away, is still without. He said the power at his shop is still not stable, and that it’s come and gone several times.

    “We had to open and close it several times,” he said. “And on top of that there’s the school, I have a 9-year-old son, and the school changes its timings depending on what their electricity situation is like.”
    He said he’s heard from others in the community that the plan is to put a generator in the Charco Hondo substation but, “every day it’s a different story, that it’s coming, that it’s here, that they don’t have posts, that they don’t have transformers.”
    For other residents the indefinite lack of power has made it harder to stay healthy. Fermina González Martinez, 75, and her husband both have diabetes and hypertension.

    Fermina González Martinez, 75, and her husband
    She says she can’t eat canned food because she also has intestinal issues, and keeping to a diet that includes fresh meat and vegetables to keep their diabetes in check has been impossible without electricity to power a refrigerator. Luckily, she said, neither of them need insulin for their condition.
    González Martinez and her husband are nervous, saying they don’t see evidence of long-term fixes to the grid in their neighborhood — and they know another hurricane season starts in June. And even if the Charco Hondo substation gets its generator, some 20,000 people in other parts of Arecibo would still be waiting for electricity.

    “If another hurricane comes, there will be nothing left here,” her husband, Juan González Trujillo, said, looking over at the dangling power lines on the road in front of their house.

    Millions Of Puerto Ricans Just Lost Power Again After A Line Repaired By Whitefish Energy Failed
    Puerto Rico Won’t Have Full Power Back Until May — 8 Months After Hurricane Maria Hit


    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    "We are the forgotten people": It's been almost six months since Hurricane Maria, and Puerto Ricans are Still Dying

    "We are the forgotten people": It's been almost six months since Hurricane Maria, and Puerto Ricans are still dying
  25. xcluesiv

    xcluesiv Well-Known Member BGOL Investor

  26. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator


    FEMA’s plan underestimated Puerto Rican hurricane

    In preparing for the storm, the disaster agency failed to anticipate the level of damage or extent of federal involvement required.


    Department of Homeland Security personnel deliver supplies to Santa Ana community residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. | Carlos Giusti/AP Photo

    The federal government significantly underestimated the potential damage to Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria and relied too heavily on local officials and private-sector entities to handle the cleanup, according to a POLITICO review of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s plan for the disaster.

    The plan, which was developed by a FEMA contractor in 2014 in anticipation of a catastrophic storm and utilized by FEMA when Maria hit last September, prepared for a Category 4 hurricane and projected that the island would shift from response to recovery mode after roughly 30 days. In fact, Hurricane Maria was a “high-end” Category 4 storm with different locations on the island experiencing Category 5 winds. More than six month after Maria made landfall, the island is just beginning to shift to recovery mode.

    More significantly, according to a half-dozen disaster-recovery experts who reviewed the document at POLITICO’s request, FEMA did not anticipate having to take on a lead role in the aftermath of the disaster, despite clear signs that the island’s government and critical infrastructure would be overwhelmed in the face of such a storm. Instead, the document largely relied on local Puerto Rico entities to restore the island’s power and telecommunications systems. It didn’t mention the financial instability of the Puerto Rican government and Puerto Rican electrical utility, factors that significantly complicated the immediate response to Maria.


    The plan truly didn’t contemplate the event the size of Maria,” said one person involved with FEMA’s response to Maria. “They made assumptions that people would be able to do things that they wouldn’t be able to do.”

    Disaster-recovery experts said the 140-page plan, published last month on the open-information site MuckRock through a Freedom of Information Act request, correctly predicted many challenges that FEMA faced with Hurricane Maria, including widespread road closures and difficulties transporting emergency supplies to the island territories, but failed to anticipate the extent of the damage.

    The federal government’s response to Hurricane Maria was notably slower than to Hurricane Harvey, which seriously damaged the Houston, Texas, area just a month earlier. The experts said the failure to plan for an even stronger storm striking Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands may have contributed to the perception that the government was taking Puerto Rico’s disaster less seriously.


  27. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Hurricane Maria death toll reportedly 70 times higher than official count

    More than 4,500 people are believed to have been killed in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria last year, more than 70 times the official death count of 64, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine reported Tuesday. That estimate would make the hurricane far deadlier than Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when 1,833 people died. Deaths that count towards a total death toll include directly related events, like "flying debris," as well as deaths "caused by unsafe or unhealthy conditions resulting in injury, illness, or loss of necessary medical services." Puerto Rican deaths went underreported because hurricane-related casualties are required to be confirmed by the island's Institute of Forensic Sciences, and indirect deaths often aren't properly represented on official death certificates.

    Source: The New England Journal of Medicine

  28. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    1,427 deaths: Puerto Rico is coming clean about Hurricane Maria’s true toll

    In a report to Congress, Puerto Rico’s government said there were 1,427 more deaths than normal in the four months after the storm hit.
    Houses affected by Hurricane Maria, some of them with their missing roofs covered in sturdy blue tarp, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in June.
    AP Photo/Carlos Giusti

    Puerto Rico’s government is getting closer to delivering an answer to the long-simmering question about the true death toll from Hurricane Maria, the now-infamous storm that smashed into the island on September 20.

    On Wednesday, the government submitted a report to Congress in which it acknowledges that there were 1,427 more deaths than normal in the aftermath of the disaster, a substantially higher figure than the official death toll of 64 it gave for months after the storm.

    The 1,427 deaths were calculated by comparing the number of deaths in the four months after the hurricane to the average number of deaths in the previous four years. This figure was first acknowledged by the government in June, and the new report says the deaths may or may not be attributable to the storm. It will update the official count after a study it commissioned from George Washington University researchers is completed. (That study is expected to come out this summer.)

    Still, “[Hurricane Irma and Maria’s] devastating effects on people’s health and safety cannot be overstated,” the report reads. “Damage to critical infrastructure resulted in cascading failures of lifeline systems of energy, transportation, communications, and water supply and wastewater treatment.”

    The report to Congress, submitted Wednesday and first reported by the New York Times, requests $139 billion in aid to continue the recovery from the Category 4 hurricane.

    To assess the ongoing damage and needs in the aftermath of the storm on the island, the government conducted interviews and focus groups. The report includes a number of poignant details about the devastation from the storm — and particularly how power outagescontributed to the staggering death toll.

    “Maunabo has a lot of older, sick, and bedridden people,” said one focus group participant from the town. “Here we had deaths because of the lack of electric power. I had people call me at 1 am to tell me that a person died because the respiratory aid was turned off.”

    Journalists and researchers who have analyzed government data and reports from the ground have long maintained that the death toll was much higher than the official count — and some found evidence that it was likely to be over 1,000. For instance, Vox reported in October 2017 that the death toll was likely over 450. And in the past six months, several researchers have come up with estimates that vary somewhat from the government’s new count of 1,427.

    A study by researchers at Harvard, published in May in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that more than 4,600 Puerto Ricans may have died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. And, they wrote, the estimate of total deaths “is likely to be conservative since subsequent adjustments for survivor bias and household-size distributions increase this estimate to more than 5,000.” The only other US disaster on record with a higher death toll is the Galveston, Texas, hurricane of 1900, when somewhere between 6,000 and 12,000 people died, the Harvard researchers noted.

    Alexis Santos, a Puerto Rican demographer at Penn State who conducted his own analysis of mortality following the hurricane, also published a paper in the journal JAMA on August 2, with Jeffrey Howard of the University of Texas San Antonio, estimating the death toll at 1,139. The difference in the figures is due to slight differences in methodology in estimating deaths attributable to the storm and its aftermath, but they all show that the government initially underestimated the toll of the storm.

    Regardless of what the exact figure is, it’s clear that the Trump administration failed to respond to the crisis on the island with sufficient support and that many of the deaths that ensued likely could have been prevented if more attention and resources had been offered early on. As Vox’s Matt Yglesias wrote, “The carnage in Puerto Rico is the most severe manifestation of Trump’s basic unfitness for the job he currently occupies. ... If you put a telegenic demagogue in office, you will get some choice moments of televised demagoguery. You won’t get an adequate response to a hurricane, and that means you will get a sky-high death toll.”
  29. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Independent study estimates Hurricane Maria killed nearly 3,000 in Puerto Rico

    Hurricane Maria killed an estimated 2,975 people in Puerto Rico, an analysis commissioned by the island's governor found Tuesday. Soon after the storm hit in September 2017, officials said it had directly caused just 64 deaths. Outside reports that included deaths caused by resulting power outages and other factors put the number much higher, around 4,500. The latest analysis studied deaths between September 2017 and February 2018 and included a count of all "excess mortality" since the hurricane, not just Puerto Ricans who died due to an immediate physical effect of the storm. The report also found that local physicians were improperly trained in how to handle death certificates, leading them to mischaracterize many deaths as unrelated to the hurricane.

    Source: CBS News, The Week


    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    The Mayor of San Juan Has a Message for Donald Trump: This Isn't About You

  31. yureeka9

    yureeka9 The Enlightened One... BGOL Investor

    She's been saying that shit for a year!

    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

  33. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator


    Trump says he can’t imagine anyone
    but himself as Time Person of the Year

    By Eli Rosenberg

    November 20, 2018


    From disaster response to the economy, President Trump gives himself and his administration high marks, most of the time.

    President Trump was asked by a reporter Tuesday about Time magazine’s Person of the Year issue, which comes out every December.

    And he had one answer for who should be Person of the Year: “Trump.”

    “I don’t know, that is up to Time magazine,” he said, noting that he had been given the distinction in 2016.

    "I can’t imagine anybody else other than Trump, can you imagine anybody else other than Trump?”


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