The Puerto Rican government recently estimated that over 1,400 people were killed by Hurricane Maria in paperwork submitted to Congress detailing the island's plans for reconstruction.
Researchers at George Washington University commissioned by the Puerto Rican government now say the death toll was actually far higher than that and closer to 3,000.
The independent analysis was commissioned by the governor of Puerto Rico and conducted by researchers at George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health. CBS News obtained a report on the findings from Carlos Mercader, executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration.
To arrive at the 2,975 figure, the study looked at historical death patterns from 2010 to 2017 to estimate how many people would have died had Hurricane Maria not hit the island. That figure was then compared to the actual number of deaths from September 2017 through February 2018 — obtained in records provided by the Puerto Rico Vital Statistics Records division of the Puerto Rico Department of Health — to determine what the report describes as the "estimate of excess mortality due to the hurricane."
Multiple reports using similar methodology have shown similar but slightly different results.
The reason no one knows for sure how many the storm killed is because large portions of the island had no power for months and few ways to keep a record. Moreover, the island had poor records on its inhabitants to begin with and many deaths may have gone unreported. It's possible the death toll was even higher than this study suggests. We may never know.
What we do know is the Trump regime's response to Hurricane Maria was just as disastrous as the storm itself. Incompetence and indifference may have contributed to as many deaths as high winds and rain did.
By the way, this is on the list of things Republicans say Democrats will investigate if they regain control of Congress. Republicans couldn't give less of a shit about this.
BREAKING: Gov. Ricardo Rossello raises Puerto Rico's official toll from Hurricane Maria from 64 to 2,975 following new study.
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 28, 2018