A new survey of the island’s residents contradicts government findings and reports a much higher death toll from Hurricane Maria than previously stated —putting it on par with one of the worst natural disasters in American history.
Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico in late September of last year, and residents are still struggling to regain their footing. Many residents still struggle to find clean water. Medical care remains scarce as many hospitals limp toward becoming fully operational.
While work continues slowly on restoring power, the tremendous destruction has resulted in a cascade of further problems, including job losses, foreclosures, a decrease in neighborhood police presence and a resulting increase in violent crimes.
This has been quite a year for America and the world. By most yardsticks, our nation seems to be going backwards: We have a billionaire president that shows no hesitation to making claims that are patently false. We have deepened the gap between rich and poor, made healthcare and college education further out of reach, eliminated environmental protections, and gave hefty tax breaks to the ultra wealthy. Here is a bit of this turbulent year in photos.
As the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico continues, Donald Trump has spent the weekend using his favorite medium, his Twitter account, not to soothe emotions or offer succor to the people of the island but to pick an increasingly acrimonious fight with the mayor San Juan, its largest city, and to tell Puerto Ricans that the lack of water, food, and electricity they are experiencing is not reality but a fabrication by the news media.
Those words were said by our President, about the people living in Puerto Rico after two hurricanes devastated the island. It is impossible to tell whether this is a conscious racist remark by Trump, or whether it is instinctive. Either way, it is something that no other modern president would have said in public, and that no one who understood the duties of the office could have done.