On Friday evening, San Juan mayor Carmen Cruz told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the dying toll in Puerto Rico could also be as excessive as 500, moderately than the official rely of 54. She stories that there have been 911 cremations up to now month after Hurricane Maria, which is about double the norm. (This isn’t counting the dying toll within the US Virgin Islands).
An correct dying toll is crucial as a result of Trump has all however stamped “mission achieved” on the disaster; earlier this month, he mentioned that FEMA can’t hang around forever and has since kinda dropped the topic altogether. The Hill notes that on October 19th, Democratic senators together with Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Bernie Sanders signed a letter urging the Division of Homeland Safety to appropriate its official rely “as a result of President Trump appears to be utilizing the variety of fatalities to find out the standard of the catastrophe response.”
They seek advice from his assertion that Maria was not “an actual disaster like Katrina” as a result of, he mentioned, solely 16 individuals had died.
That was his October third journey, wherein he spent an estimated four hours on the island. He has not been again since.
Even now, restoration funding doesn’t appear to be reaching individuals. It’s usually agreed that almost all of Puerto Rico stays with out energy, although estimates vacillate wildly–Puerto Rico’s official restoration web site claims 40% has been restored, whereas a neighborhood power worker estimated to CNN that as little as 5% of the island had entry to energy. There’s “no dependable authorities info,” CNN stories. Not solely that, however energy restoration has been stalled by a scandal involving a shady $300 million contract with an influence firm Whitefish Power, which was cancelled after elevating a number of federal investigations. As of October 31st, FEMA estimated quarter of the island lacked entry to drinking water.
And at this time, Axios has reported that FEMA has only paid Puerto Rico $121,000 in Nationwide Flood Insurance coverage as a result of, for many Puerto Rican property house owners, flood insurance coverage is simply too costly. By comparability, Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey have obtained $2.eight billion.
On Wednesday, Republicans swiftly postponed a hearing wherein Mayor Cruz was set to testify on the state of hurricane restoration. So she gave her personal testimony to the press. She claims that the federal authorities has been “killing the individuals” as a result of “it’s been taking the cash to pay the debt.”
“It truly is 10 out of 100,” she added, referring to Trump’s “10 out of 10” self-rating for his response to Puerto Rico. “President Trump lives in an alternate actuality. Whereas we’re feeding our individuals, he’s in Mar-a-Lago enjoying golf,” she mentioned.
He has made at the very least four trips to his golf resorts since his Puerto Rico go to.