Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló on Monday ordered a full review and recount of the island’s death toll from Hurricane Maria. The move comes after intense scrutiny because of the government’s unbelievably low count of 64 deaths.
A New York Times analysis, on the other hand, put the number of deaths traceable to the storm at 1,052; and Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism came to a similar conclusion.
“The prolonged blackout hampered critical medical treatment for some of the island’s most vulnerable patients, including many who were bedridden or dependent on dialysis or respirators,” the Times reported. “But if they died as a result, the storm’s role in their deaths may have gone officially unrecorded.”
In statement on his requested recount, Gov. Rosselló said, “This is about more than numbers, these are lives: real people, leaving behind loved ones and families.”