Congressman Serrano on Harvard University Researchers’ Study on Hurricane Maria Death Toll in Puerto Rico
Washington, DC – Congressman Jose E. Serrano (D-NY), a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, today released the following statement in response to the findings of a study conducted by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study estimates that 4,645 people died in Puerto Rico post Hurricane Maria, thousands more than the official death toll of 64 confirmed by the Trump Administration:
“The number reached by Harvard University researchers only confirms what many long suspected - the amount of people who tragically lost their lives after Hurricane Maria’s passage through the island is much higher than the official number that has repeatedly been sanctioned by the Trump Administration. Many of these deaths could have easily been prevented had the Trump Administration chosen to recognize the magnitude of the crisis and taken more forceful action to help the people of Puerto Rico immediately after the hurricane. Instead, it continues to downplay the impact that Hurricane Maria had on the island and its people. Almost a year later, and just days away from a new hurricane season, millions continue to live in horrible conditions and the island remains vulnerable to future natural disasters. This number shows, not only that the federal government needs to do more to help Puerto Rico recover, it needs to help ensure local medical services are adequately prepared to serve the people of Puerto Rico in the event of another catastrophe in the near future. The millions of American citizens who live on the island can’t go through another Hurricane Maria.”
Congressman José E. Serrano has represented The Bronx in Congress since 1990. He is a Senior member of the House Appropriations Committee.