Reporter Uncovers Troubling Information About Puerto Rico Death Toll

Published: Monday, October 9, 2017 - 3:12pm
Updated: Monday, October 9, 2017 - 3:21pm

Last Tuesday afternoon, President Trump spent four hours in Puerto Rico assessing the damage of Hurricane Maria. Among his comments were praising FEMA and the federal government’s “incredible” and “unbelievable” job after the storm.

Two hours after the president said that, the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, revised that number — more than doubling it to 34.

But The Show’s Lauren Gilger spoke with someone who says the count should be much, much higher.

Omaya Sosa Pascual is an investigative reporter with the Centro de Peridisimo Investigativo based in Puerto Rico, and her work since Sept. 20 has uncovered some troubling information about a potentially-massive under-reported death toll there.

She says morgues in Puerto Rico are filling up, families are burying their dead on their own after receiving no help, and the usual government system of reporting the deceased has broken down completely.

And let me just say she was a very difficult woman to reach. It took several days to get her on the phone, thanks to downed phone lines and spotty cell service after the storm. So, when we finally connected, I asked her first, has her reporting gotten the attention of government officials?

I should also add, on top of the under-reported death toll, FEMA came under fire last Thursday for inexplicably removing statistics on Puerto Rico’s recovery from their website — including numbers of the population that has access to clean water and electricity.

After I spoke with Omaya on Friday afternoon, FEMA restored the stats, which now say that 56.8 percent of the island has access to potable water and 26 percent of the population has electricity.


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