If 9/11 Attacks Can Spark Trillions in War Spending, Asks Ocasio-Cortez, Why Can’t US Find Funding for Puerto Rico ‘Marshall Plan’?
A study commissioned by the Puerto Rican government has found that an estimated 2,975 people died after Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory last year, corroborating previous analyses that have long challenged the official death toll of 64 and bolstering calls that the American government provide substantially more aid to help with rebuilding efforts.
Acknowledging the new findings from George Washington University on Tuesday, progressive New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned to Twitter to demand a “Marshall Plan” for Puerto Rico and a “just transition” to a renewable energy system that would replace the existing “unstable and unreliable power grid,” which faced operational and financial issues even before the storm struck.
Even by conservative estimates, about as many Americans died in Hurricane María as on 9/11.
After 9/11, our country spent trillions transforming our entire national security apparatus and went to several wars.
PR needs a Marshall Plan + a just transition out of fossil fuels.
BREAKING: New report estimates “2,975 excess deaths in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria,” a far larger number than the government’s official death toll count of 64, according to new independent report from GWU that was commissioned by island officials. https://nbcnews.to/2wudlac
Mark your calendars now: on September 20th, join us in Union Square with @UPROSE, @yeampierre, @NaomiAKlein & others to mark the 1 year anniversary of Hurricane María.
We will commemorate, listen, and amplify the work of grassroots organizations in the path forward: pic.twitter.com/OrakBslV46
As the island struggles to rebuild, news reports from the ground have captured the long-lasting devastation, while various analyses have estimated the actual death toll to be in the thousands. One such study put out by Harvard researchers in late May concluded that between 4,645 and 5,740 people died due to the hurricane.
In light of the new report, which sought to update the official government death toll by measuring deaths on the island between September 2017 to February 2018, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) pointed to the United States’ long history of treating the residents of Puerto Rico as second-class citizens:
The US treats Puerto Ricans as second class citizens.
Thousands of lives were lost because of it.
JUST IN: Death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria was nearly 3,000, an independent study commissioned by the island’s government says. https://abcn.ws/2PLbgiY
Rep. Nydia Velázquez, (D-N.Y.), who has introduced legislation to establish federal standards for calculating death tolls after disasters, said in a statement, “Once again, we have yet more mounting evidence about the enormity of the tragedy that befell Puerto Rico last year.”
“Notably, this study also confirms that lower income communities disproportionately suffered the greatest loss of life,” Velázquez added, emphasizing that the “disastrously inadequate” response from the U.S. government “failed the people of Puerto Rico and we can never allow such an inexcusable moral lapse to occur again.”