Rep. Adriano Espaillat Statement on Death Toll in Puerto Rico Following New Report

May 29, 2018
Press Release

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Today, Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) released the following statement on a new report conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine indicating the death toll in Puerto Rico has reached nearly 5,000 in the wake of Hurricane Maria. 

“Today’s report and study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine indicates the death toll in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria is nearly 5,000 and almost 70 times higher than initially reported. Nine months after the storm, the American citizens of Puerto Rico continue to face a major crisis mired in devastation and heartbreaking realities,” Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). 

“Puerto Rico is among one of President Trump’s most significant failures since taking office and the way this crisis has been handled by the administration is simply outrageous. Thousands of residents remain without adequate resources or assistance and only half of the population have reliable electricity and water. The island’s medical and health systems were disrupted and medical supplies remain scarce. Additionally, FEMA has denied nearly 50% of the applications submitted by housing victims in need of grant assistance to help them rebuild and repair their homes.

“Today’s report is about more than numbers. This is about lives, and the lives that have been lost and the lives still on the line. As the 2018 hurricane season begins, we cannot afford to turn our backs on the residents of Puerto Rico and must continue our efforts to help families rebuild following this devastating storm that has affected and continues to impact many lives,” he concluded.

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First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his first term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the House Select Committee on Small Business.  He is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and serves in a leadership role as CHC Freshman Representative to the Democratic Caucus. He is also chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing.  Rep. Espaillat’s Congressional District includes Harlem, East Harlem, northern Manhattan and the north-west Bronx. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at

Media inquiries: Candace Randle Person at