Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and two House Democrats blasted the Trump administration Tuesday for not doing anything to verify the true hurricane death toll in Puerto Rico, which researchers now believe could be more than 70 times higher than the official count.
President Trump and his Cabinet have remained silent in the face of growing evidence that Puerto Rico is undercounting the deaths of US citizens who died in connection to Hurricane Maria. The local government’s official death toll remains 64.
“We are extremely concerned by the ongoing inability to obtain an updated, accurate death toll from Hurricane Maria, and the Trump Administration’s failure to provide any assistance or demand accountability in that process,” Warren wrote in a letter Tuesday to Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Alex Azar, secretary of health and human services(HHS).
In the letter, which was shared with Vox, Democrats pointed to new research from epidemiologists at Harvard as more proof that the federal and local response to the devastation from Hurricane Maria was “inadequate.”
The research, published May 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine, pegged the hurricane death toll above 4,600 — a sign that Hurricane Maria is likely the deadliest natural disaster in modern US history.