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New Study Estimates Hurricane Maria Death Toll in Puerto Rico Could Exceed 4,000

K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
37,522
12,058
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As hurricane season begins this week, experts are still trying to count the number of deaths caused by last year’s devastating Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The latest estimate: roughly 4,600, many of them from delayed medical care.

Residents of Puerto Rico died at a significantly higher rate during the three months following the hurricane than they did in the previous year, according to the results of a new study by a group of independent researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and other institutions.

The researchers say their estimate, published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, remains imprecise, with more definitive studies still to come. But the findings, which used methods that have not been previously applied to this disaster, are important amid widespread concerns that the government’s tally of the dead, 64, was a dramatic undercount.
The surveyors used off-road vehicles because of the continuing threat of landslides in mountain areas. In part of Culebra, a small island off the main island of Puerto Rico, they arrived planning to interview 35 households. Only one person remained. “It was a bathroom and half a room,” said Domingo J. Marqués, an associate professor of psychology at Albizu University San Juan, who helped conduct the study with his students and who himself lacked power and running water for months after the hurricane. “All the other houses were gone.”

Those conditions, he said, made clearer why the government’s official death count was incomplete. “Even if they were really doing a good job, it was really hard unless you did something like we did — go talk to people on the ground,” he said. People, he added, “died alone in their houses. Nobody went there. Some of them were covered by a landslide, and months after they’ve not recovered the bodies.”
The newly released study, by contrast, was conducted for about $50,000 without the participation of the territory’s government, which the researchers said refused to provide data to them. Government officials did not respond to several New York Times requests for comment on the research.
https://nyti.ms/2GYTOBS

Seems obvious that the government knows MANY more people than the official count died but have decided to do everything possible to suppress such conclusions. And these are American citizens.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
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https://nyti.ms/2GYTOBS

Seems obvious that the government knows MANY more people than the official count died but have decided to do everything possible to suppress such conclusions. And these are American citizens.

Let's back up a bit. The official numbers are low but no one is talking rationally about why that may be. My inherent distrust for anything Trump touches make me prone to jump at his hand in meddling. That may indeed be the case, but the rational scientific me won't allow that to automatically be the case and my uncertainty lies in the ignorance in the methodologies FEMA or other entity uses to determine fatalities and if they were applied to Puerto Rico in the same way as Katrina. Katrina had 1800+ official deaths IIRC and here we have 64. Obvious tinkering! Not really. IF (everyone note if) body counts occurring directly after the storm is the criteria, PR would likely have been MUCH lower because of the problem of verification. With Katrina that would not have been as much an issue because as New Orleans as trashed as it was is connected to the mainland and thousands could enter pretty much immediately and conduct an official body count.

PR? No possibility. Circumstances and criteria and not some conspiracy MAY account for what was verified and what was calculated by Harvard, the latter which is certainly closer to the mark. What we may need to fix is the methods for the accounting of deaths, but I lack access to information to make a determination here.

Nothing above mitigates the utter failure of proper care and treatment of those in PR in any way, nor minimizes their ongoing plight.
 

K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
37,522
12,058
136
Let's back up a bit. The official numbers are low but no one is talking rationally about why that may be. My inherent distrust for anything Trump touches make me prone to jump at his hand in meddling.
Exposing the actual death toll is politically embarrassing to the government, both PR gov and the Feds. PR needs ongoing funding and lacks real representation to obtain it thus the need to remain in Trump's relative good graces. They certainly know the death toll is a lot higher than the official count and the only real debate seems to be *how* much higher. Yes the PR government lacks good data but they've seemingly resisted obtaining any with something resembling urgency. A couple years from now when the official count is updated to 5-10K nobody will care even if they notice.
 
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Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
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Exposing the actual death toll is politically embarrassing to the government, both PR gov and the Feds. PR needs ongoing funding and lacks real representation to obtain it thus the need to remain in Trump's relative good graces. They certainly know the death toll is a lot higher than the official count and the only real debate seems to be *how* much higher. Yes the PR government lacks good data but they've seemingly resisted obtaining any with something resembling urgency. A couple years from now when the official count is updated to 5-10K nobody will care even if they notice.
I'm not saying anything contrary to that. I am saying that the official estimate MAY be based on criteria used in every other situation. If that is the case then the methodology is sorely outdated.

Regarding the separate (or should be separate) matter of the true scope of the disaster as opposed to statistics? There are real people who died in large numbers and others who still suffer. There is no excuse. What I am trying to do is look at things at and below the surface. Trump is still being a cruel son of a bitch as is anyone else who doesn't want the nation to live up to our obligation.
 

JSt0rm

Lifer
Sep 5, 2000
27,399
3,943
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Well trump refused to enact some maritime law about shipping to a disaster zone as it would cost the shipping companies money. So he did have a direct hand in this. Plus he is the pres. He is there to take over when big things happen. The reality is republicans don’t see darker skinned people as having value.
 

deathBOB

Senior member
Dec 2, 2007
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Counterpoint: PR death toll could be high even in the face of a good response (not that Trump’s response was good) because the infrastructure there was so bad to begin with and it’s an island.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
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Well trump refused to enact some maritime law about shipping to a disaster zone as it would cost the shipping companies money. So he did have a direct hand in this. Plus he is the pres. He is there to take over when big things happen. The reality is republicans don’t see darker skinned people as having value.
Like I said there are two issues which are important, one for now and one for the future.

We have Trump and his ilk all too glad to burn PR if it suited him and so those people don't matter and never did.

Then the fact that our way of accounting for the true measure of disaster is in question and whether we like it or not, bureaucracies do not care about people, they care about numbers and therefore we need to make sure there are accurate representative statistics for them to act on.

None of this changes what you say about the President.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
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Counterpoint: PR death toll could be high even in the face of a good response (not that Trump’s response was good) because the infrastructure there was so bad to begin with and it’s an island.
The death count was high. Accepted.

That a false claim is grounds for congratulations? Not accepted.

Not remaining in full crisis mode? Not accepted.
 

dainthomas

Lifer
Dec 7, 2004
13,894
2,200
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The president of Puerto Rico is obviously a mentally disturbed half-wit who can't count any higher than his fingers and toes, so this is no surprise.
 

JSt0rm

Lifer
Sep 5, 2000
27,399
3,943
126
Like I said there are two issues which are important, one for now and one for the future.

We have Trump and his ilk all too glad to burn PR if it suited him and so those people don't matter and never did.

Then the fact that our way of accounting for the true measure of disaster is in question and whether we like it or not, bureaucracies do not care about people, they care about numbers and therefore we need to make sure there are accurate representative statistics for them to act on.

None of this changes what you say about the President.
We already went through this with Katrina. The future is the same as the past - republicans don’t care about anyone but white people.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,214
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We already went through this with Katrina. The future is the same as the past - republicans don’t care about anyone but white people.
OK, show the different methodologies used with the express intent of obtaining different results. To that I say good luck.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
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why would I do that?
We know how the Republicans don't care. Now when the means to completely underestimate events based on faulty methods? That only encourages the same thing down the road. I don't see that as good.
 

JSt0rm

Lifer
Sep 5, 2000
27,399
3,943
126
We know how the Republicans don't care. Now when the means to completely underestimate events based on faulty methods? That only encourages the same thing down the road. I don't see that as good.
I dont think its about underestimating events. Its about having the will to do something when bad things happen. The gop/trump have no will to spend money on those filthy poors on some island. They dont consider these people to be americans.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
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I dont think its about underestimating events. Its about having the will to do something when bad things happen. The gop/trump have no will to spend money on those filthy poors on some island. They dont consider these people to be americans.
I don't think you are wrong about doing right, I just want to get everything right. We have Schrodinger's Casualties.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
106,242
21,280
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What would President Obama have done differently?
To start, do you think anybody in the Obama Administration would have accepted a bid for a startup power company from Ohio(?) with three employees, ~two trucks, and zero previous comparable jobs remotely close to scale to handle a $300mil contract to fix the entire grid in PR?

Do you see that as likely under Obama?
 

brandonbull

Diamond Member
May 3, 2005
5,965
828
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To start, do you think anybody in the Obama Administration would have accepted a bid for a startup power company from Ohio(?) with three employees, ~two trucks, and zero previous comparable jobs remotely close to scale to handle a $300mil contract to fix the entire grid in PR?

Do you see that as likely under Obama?
Are you referring to Whitefish Energy?
 
Mar 11, 2004
21,553
3,700
126
Exposing the actual death toll is politically embarrassing to the government, both PR gov and the Feds. PR needs ongoing funding and lacks real representation to obtain it thus the need to remain in Trump's relative good graces. They certainly know the death toll is a lot higher than the official count and the only real debate seems to be *how* much higher. Yes the PR government lacks good data but they've seemingly resisted obtaining any with something resembling urgency. A couple years from now when the official count is updated to 5-10K nobody will care even if they notice.
Absolutely, the PR government has some blame for sure. But that's also at least partly because of the fucked up situation that PR was forced into by the federal government. There's a lot of fuckups that happened. This is an example of, party affiliation doesn't matter that much, fuckups can and do happen. Although it sure seems like Republicans with their "fiscal conservative" and deregulation mindsets like to setup the fuckups to happen. Why have disaster relief funds when we should be putting that towards tax cuts! I'm sure glenn will be along any time now pointing out all the fundraisers that happen, proving that the tax cuts are the best way of handling it!
 

HomerJS

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
27,902
13,745
136
Hey all you people that criticized the Mayor of San Juan. You were so busy kissing Trump's ass you failed to see she was spot on.
 

IJTSSG

Golden Member
Aug 12, 2014
1,098
267
136
We either need to bring PR into full statehood or cut them the fuck loose. It's long overdue.
 

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