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Science & Environment

Puerto Rico, Presently

A woman prays in front of hundreds of shoes that were displayed in memory of those killed by Hurricane Maria in front of the Puerto Rican Capitol, in San Juan on June 1.
A woman prays in front of hundreds of shoes that were displayed in memory of those killed by Hurricane Maria in front of the Puerto Rican Capitol, in San Juan on June 1.

The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico spoke to CNN Wednesday. It wasn't an anodyne media hit.

Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz squarely blamed the Trump administration for thousands of deaths related to Hurricane María.

"The administration killed the Puerto Ricans with neglect. The Trump administration led us to believe they were helping when they weren't up to par, and they didn't allow other countries to help us," Yulín Cruz said, later adding, "Shame on President Trump. Shame on President Trump for not even once, not even yesterday, just saying, 'Look, I grieve with the people of Puerto Rico.'"

A revised death toll by The George Washington University estimated the death toll at 2,975 people. Original estimates were as low as 64, or even 16, which is the number President Trump used when he visited the island in 2017, nearly two weeks after the disaster.

The New York Times reports: "Trump contrasted the number with the 'hundreds and hundreds of people that died' after Hurricane Katrina. Everybody watching can really be very proud of what's taken place in Puerto Rico,' he said." Hurricane Katrina's official death toll was 1,883.

What is life like on the island now? Why was the response so poor? Is Puerto Rico prepared for another hurricane?

At 1A, we feel as if we haven't heard enough about Hurricane Maria and its aftermath. So if you have a story to share about you or your family's experience with Hurricane Maria, give us a call at 855-236-1212 or use our app, 1A VoxPop.

Produced by Amanda Williams. Text by Gabrielle Healy.

GUESTS

Justo Hernandez, FEMA Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer, in Puerto Rico.

Jonathan Levin, Miami bureau chief for Bloomberg News. @JonathanJLevin

Adrian Florido, NPR National Desk Reporter covering Puerto Rico; reporter for NPR's Code Switch. @adrianflorido

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

© 2018 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio.

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.

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