From [HERE] and [HERE] It was exactly one month ago that Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, leaving nearly total devastation in her wake. While the official death toll was raised to 49 on Friday morning, after a resident succumbed to a bacterial disease that is caught through an animal’s urine, research indicates that the real number of fatalities is probably closer to 450.
Public Radio International recently interviewed Vox editor Eliza Barclay about the facts and fiction of what’s happening on the ground. When asked about the method officials are using to tally the number of fatalities, Barclay said that “we don’t have a super clear sense of exactly how they’ve been doing it. But one thing they’ve been doing is requiring that every single body be inspected by officials from the Institute for Forensic Science. And then they’re also saying that they need to do interviews with family members to confirm that a death definitely resulted from the hurricane. So it seems, at least, like a pretty strict set of requirements in order to attribute a death directly to the storm.”
Still, with officials originally claiming that just 16 people had died as a result of Hurricane Maria — and Trump using that number as proof of “his” success in dealing with the catastrophe — the numbers just didn’t seem right to Barclay and her colleagues. So they decided to dig deeper.
“We knew from reports on the ground, and investigative journalists who’ve also been looking into this, that this was very likely way too low of a number. So we decided to basically go through and look at all the Spanish and English news sources we could find and we compiled our own numbers based on those reports. We found a total of 81 deaths linked indirectly or directly to the hurricane, that included what — at the time of our report — was 45 official deaths, and then there was another 36 that we found that were not showing up in that official count. And then we found another 450 reported deaths, and another 69 missing.”
Barclay was clear that these are “squishy” numbers, not hard evidence that Vox was able to calculate the exact total of deaths. “But they indicate that there’s probably a lot of deaths out there that they’re not accounting for in San Juan.”
16. 48. 49. 500. It’s all practically the same, right?
El Vocero, a local newspaper, reported that there are 350 bodies awaiting autopsies, though it’s unclear how many — if any — were at the Institute of Forensic Sciences before the hurricane struck. Even so, that’s a big discrepancy.
While Trump is proud of the way he’s done so little to help the millions of American citizens who call the island home, giving himself a perfect “10 out of 10″ score on his response to the situation, one only needs to look at a real-time photo of the U.S. territory to understand that the president is painting a sunny picture of a place where one million people are without running water and three million will likely be without power until Christmas.
Still, President Racist is sticking to his story that he has bent over backwards to help the people of PR. Like that time he donned a rain slicker and a shiny new pair of work boots to hop on his private plane and attempt to decapitate a few dozen Puerto Ricans with “beautiful, soft” rolls of extra-ply Bounty.
What more do these people want from him?