Hours After Telling Trump Only 16 People Died During Maria, PR Gov Says Death Count Doubled

Oct 3, 2017
11:28 PM

Earlier on Tuesday, Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló told President Donald Trump that the number of people who died as a result of Hurricane María was 16—a figure already deemed inaccurate and false by the excellent work of journalist Omaya Sosa Pascual. The government figure was seriously being questioned for the past week, including an appearance on national television by our founder last Saturday.

A few hours after the Trump visit, Rosselló was already changing his tune, when he gave a press conference and said that the latest death count is now at 34.

This latest news from Rosselló is a significant development, because it essentially confirms that the work of Puerto Rican journalists who began to look into the initial claim had already gathered enough information to suggest that the people who died because of Maria could be more in the hundreds.

The question to Rosselló is a simple one: why did you wait until after the Trump visit to share an update that was inevitable, and is sadly the first sign that more and more deaths will be recorded?

The government of Puerto Rico and the federal government are trying to hide the truth, but eventually the truth will come out, because why would Puerto Rico need 10 refrigerators to hold hundreds of corpses?

So, unlike Trump’s calls for congratulations, this is nothing to celebrate, and we expect even more transparency and accountability now. If not, we will keep asking the tough questions on this one.