FEMA Lost Funding to Build Immigrant Detention Centers

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) has accused the administration of stripping $10 million in funding from FEMA to build immigrant detention centers.

Even as Hurricane Florence prepares to batter the east coast, Trump has not only defended the abysmal emergency response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year, but has also been accused of diverting $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to build more immigrant detention centers.

Senator Merkley’s accusations come as 20,000 palettes of undistributed water bottles have been discovered in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, which were meant for distribution to survivors of Hurricane Maria.  Continue reading

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President Underplays Tragedy in Puerto Rico

Despite the fact that the Puerto Rican government has updated the official death toll to nearly 3,000, Trump still claims the U.S. did “a fantastic job.”

On Wednesday, the Puerto Rican government officially updated its death toll as a result of Hurricane Maria from 64 to nearly 3,000 — a sum almost 46 times greater than previously thought.

When the president visited Puerto Rico following the hurricane, he praised the government for the low death toll and compared it to Hurricane Katrina. Now, the death toll has surpassed that disaster, as well.

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Puerto Rico Admits Staggering Death Toll

The Puerto Rican government has acknowledged that the death toll following Hurricane Maria was far higher than previously thought.

The government has admitted that at least 1,427 people died in the wake of the devastating hurricane, though it has not updated the official death toll which remains at just 64.

A study conducted by Harvard estimates that the actual death toll is likely closer to at least 4,000.

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Empty Shoes

Residents of Puerto Rico placed hundreds of pairs of shoes outside the Capitol building in San Juan on Friday to symbolize and honor the nearly 5,000 people who died as a result of Hurricane Maria.

A study released by Harvard last week shows that the death toll following the record-breaking hurricane last year is at least 70 times higher than the official count at 4,645 dead.

The government’s official count remains at just 64.

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“Now, I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico…”

A study released by Harvard in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that at least 4,645 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria, a death toll 70 times higher than the official count.

UPDATED 08/10/18 11:01 AM PST: The Puerto Rican government has admitted to a higher death toll than previously recorded, though it has yet to acknowledge the numbers put forth by the Harvard study. Read more →

PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.: Now, I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you have thrown our budget a little out of whack, because we have spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico. And that’s fine. We’ve saved a lot of lives. If you look at the—every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina and you look at the tremendous—hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here with really a storm that was just totally overbearing, nobody has seen anything like this. And what is your death count as of this moment?Seventeen?

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What Happens When the Colonizer Loses Interest in the Colony

Nine months after devastating Hurricane Maria made landfall, the island of Puerto Rico is entering this year’s hurricane season without ever having recovered from the last one.

The record-breaking hurricane hit the island on September 20, 2017 and officially killed 64 people. Other estimates put the death toll much higher, and the continued lack of power and other necessities means that Puerto Ricans are still dying because of the hurricane.

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the U.S., so while it isn’t a state, and its citizens don’t have quite the same rights as mainlanders, the federal government is still responsible for assisting in the disaster relief process.

In November 2017, two months after the hurricane hit, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded $30 million in contracts to a company that had been newly created in St. Cloud, Florida.

The company, Bronze Star LLC, which lists only $150K in annual revenue and a measly 15 employees, was tasked with delivering emergency plastic sheeting and tarps to Puerto Rico.

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