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October 12, 2017

Thompson, Velázquez Seek Audit of Maria Death Toll

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Reps. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) and Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, wrote the U.S. Department of Homeland Security asking for an investigation into underreporting in the official death toll following Hurricane Maria.

In light of news reports suggesting that numbers could be much higher than the official count of 45 lives lost, the lawmakers asked for an official review of casualty counts.

“The American people deserve to know what’s happening to their fellow U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico,” Velázquez said. “Given recent reports suggesting that the death toll is much higher than is being officially acknowledged, we need a swift and thorough investigation to ensure the real magnitude of this crisis is made public.”

“Having just been in Puerto Rico last weekend, it is clear that the real story of what is happening is not being told by this Administration,” said Thompson.  “The federal response is woefully adequate and now we are seeing numerous reports that the death toll is unknown or not being reported accurately.  The whole nation deserves to know what is happening to our fellow citizens.” 

Link to letter

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Media contacts:
(Thompson) Adam Comis at 202-225-9978
(Velázquez) Alex Haurek at 202-225-2361