Over 1 Year Ago, Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria Killed Nearly 3,000 People (Instead Of The 64 People Originally Reported)
We’re coming up on almost a year since Category 5 Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. The governor of Puerto Rico recently officially raised the death toll from 64 to 2,975. It took nearly a year for the island to get full power restored and a lot of people are far from recovered.
Just this week, some shocking news hit the airwaves.
The government of Puerto Rico has raised the death toll to almost 3,000 people.
The number is representative of the people who died after the storm passed but still because of the storm. The entire island was out of power for months leaving many with necessary things to live. However, there is still a lot of disputes on the official death toll.
The official death toll by the federal government is 64.
CNN and the Centro de Periodismo Investigativo sued the Puerto Rican government to release the death records, and the judge forced the government’s hand.
Puerto Rico is nowhere near recovered.
Just last week (10 months after the hurricane), power to most residents was finally restored. Highways haven’t been restored, the energy grid isn’t complete and the Puerto Rican government is requesting $139 billion in recovery funds. There is still a lot of work to do.
Meanwhile, Trump is funneling our tax money into a space military.
Puerto Rico still needs help recovering. Some would think that it is more important to help Puerto Rico rebuild than to create a space force.
People are screaming into the Twitter-verse.
We don’t expect a reasonable response because there is no reason. It’s inexcusable to scapegoat people looking for safe harbor and call them aliens while funneling our money into a fake bid for space.
What about our problems here on Earth?
Hurricane Maria is the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. The structural damage and the staggering death toll need to be addressed with all the available and necessary resources.
Thankfully, Senators are speaking out with this new information.
When Trump visited Puerto Rico, he tossed paper towels out into the crowd. And when he tweeted about relief efforts, it was to say that they were unappreciated (rather than expected of the government).
People are telling Trump where he can shove his paper towels.
Puerto Rican recovery efforts still matter, especially with another hurricane season upon us, making the island vulnerable to more natural disaster hits. Let’s be honest: Puerto Rico has not received proportional relief efforts.
There are some studies and people that say that closer to 5,000 people died because of Hurricane Maria.
Here a major reason that the U.S. federal government has been reluctant to provide meaningful aid:
- Puerto Rico is effectively a colony, forced to pay taxes, but not receive aid in turn.
Latino celebrities have done more to help Puerto Rico than the U.S. government.
Since then, Mr. Worldwide has said he sees President Trump’s “true colors.”
In an interview with CNN, Pitbull said, “his true colors are real simple. It’s about money, it’s about power, and when you’re raised that way, it goes to show you what your true priorities are.”
Jennifer Lopez has been one of the biggest champions of Puerto Rico.
Lopez posted an emotional video on her Instagram during a time when she still hadn’t heard back from her family back home. She urged her over 10 million video viewers to donate to the Puerto Rican’s First Lady’s cause: Unidos por Puerto Rico.
J.Lo and Marc Anthony joined forces to create their own initiative: Somos Una Voz.
The organization aims to bring together sports and entertainment celebrities to use their platforms and talents to raise money for recovery efforts.
Daddy Yankee is one of many other artists who joined the coalition.
The funds have gone to help rebuild homes lost during the storm through Habitat for Humanity, distributing food and water during the months after that PR went without, and so much more.
Puerto Rican icon Ricky Martin went in on the ground to help residents.
He went to small beach towns like Loiza, which was without food, water or even a telephone line to communicate. Martin came in with trucks of water bought by the millions of dollars he raised for relief efforts.
Lin-Manuel Miranda has never stopped tweeting about his home island.
Six months after the storm, eight months after the storm, just last week, Miranda refuses to let Puerto Rico slip from the news cycles while people are still suffering and injustice continues.
Luis Fonsi joined John Leguizamo in a PSA.
While Fonsi tried to continue with his tour, he couldn’t without making a PSA to raise awareness. He even told TIME, “We’re all trying to be professional because, as they say, the show must go on. [But] it’s obvious we’re all heavy-hearted and concerned.”
Gina Rodriguez is a proud Puerto Rican and has used her platform for good.
Both to raise funds but also raise expectations and destroy stereotypes that people have about Puerto Ricans.
Literally, people don’t understand how more hasn’t been made of the issues.
The people of Puerto Rico are Americans. They deserve better. They deserve to be treated like all the other Americans who are facing a long recovery.
So what can you do to help?
Keep donating and keep talking about Puerto Rico. The most important thing you can do is keep Puerto Rico in the mainstream consciousness so we can make some real change. Fight with your words and plans, not verbal attacks.