March 1, 2019

The American territory of Puerto Rico has been struggling since before the tragedy of Hurricane Maria. But the disaster, and the Trump administration's inept response, has made the struggle of Puerto Ricans has been made manifold worse.

But this latest news? That's just evil.

Here is the letter sent by FEMA Coordinating Officer Michael Byrne:

More than 3,000 Puerto Ricans were estimated to have died due to Hurricane Maria, growing significantly in the 16 months since the hurricane due in no small part to the inadequate FEMA relief efforts, as a GAO report recounted back in October.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) said Tuesday that 54 percent of federal emergency personnel were not qualified for their positions in October 2017, a month after the Category 4 hurricane the U.S. territory. The report also stated there were logistical challenges given Puerto Rico's location and noted that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had to assume many responsibilities of the local government given the loss of power and communications.

Officials also said that federal, state and local official struggled to find temporary housing for those affected by the hurricane.

Per Byrne's letter, FEMA has only managed 188 autopsies of all the deaths in Puerto Rico. And on an island where they only fully restored power less than five months ago, FEMA's first recommendation for Puerto Rico to soldier on their own without federal assistance is to get more back up generators for the backlog of cadavers and hire some more medical examiners.

The cruelty is almost unimaginable. But then again, this is the Trump administration.

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