Hurricane Maria killed 2975 in Puerto Rico: New official toll

PR death toll may be higher than reported

The GWU researchers will look at specific cases to determine what causes of deaths were most prevalent in the storm's aftermath, he said.

Gov. Tom Wolf is paying his own airfare and accommodations for the two-day trip that will end Friday morning.

Rep. Nydia Velazquez, a New York Democrat, said the report shows the USA government failed the people of Puerto Rico.

"Every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds of people that died and what happened here with a storm that was just totally overbearing, no one has ever seen anything like that", Trump said during a visit to the USA territory in October 2017. "This translated into an inadequate indicator for monitoring mortality in the hurricane's aftermath".

The study found that all age and income groups were affected by the sharp rise in mortality, but that the risk of death was markedly higher among the island's poor.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that victims of last year's hurricane, which was estimated this week to have killed almost 3,000 people on the USA territory, "deserve no less" than the government's full support. In fact, similar error rates in death certificates are found throughout the United States.

The previous findings by Harvard University blamed most deaths after Hurricane Maria on interruptions in medical care due to power outages and blocked or washed out roads.

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That can only be done by Congress or the Supreme Court, should it rule the law unconstitutional, which it has not. The provision bars religious institutions and other tax-exempt organizations from endorsing political candidates.

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And federal law treats a loan to a campaign as a contribution, subject to contribution limits and disclosure requirements. The problem is this interferes with both Trump's ability to hire "only the best people" and get the loyalty he demands.

There is no national standard for how to count disaster-related deaths.

All jurisdictions, not only Puerto Rico and other parts of the US but also globally, should develop methods to rapidly assess total excess mortality after natural disasters and to provide that information to the public. Armed with that information, public health officials can more quickly identify populations at risk and develop interventions aimed at protecting the most vulnerable citizens. In addition, the island must strengthen the coordination between the Vital Statistics Registry and the Bureau of Forensic Sciences with the goal of creating a timely and accurate surveillance system.

Speaking at a news conference from in Puerto Rico's capital, San Juan, Rossello said his government was adopting the findings as the official account of human life lost in the disaster.

The new study also sought to understand why the initial death tolls were so far off. This would involve interviews of family members and others, as well as in-depth statistical analyses, to learn about the circumstances leading up to individual deaths.

The elderly and impoverished were most affected, according to an independent study ordered by the U.S. territory after the low initial death toll was widely questioned.

Arden Dragoni holds a printed photo taken on October 5, 2017 that shows the remains of his home that was destroyed by Hurricane Maria, as he stands at the same spot where his home remains in shambles in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico on May 28, 2018.

Rossello pledged to carry out the recommendations, though there are questions about Puerto Rico's ability to do so.

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