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May 29, 2018

Thompson Statement on New Hurricane Maria Death Toll Estimates

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on the release of a Harvard University study estimating the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico at 4,645:

“It is heartbreaking to learn that the more we closely examine the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, we get a clearer picture of the catastrophic loss of life caused by the storm and the Administration’s inadequate response. Multiple studies have now been released that show that the official government death toll is misleading and wildly inaccurate with the real toll likely in the thousands.  The Trump Administration’s response to Hurricane Maria was woefully inadequate and it can no longer deny that Hurricane Maria was a humanitarian catastrophe - undoubtedly one of the worst this country has seen."

"Having visited Puerto Rico in the days after the storm, it was clear the real story of what was happening there was not getting through.  I, along with Congressman Velázquez, asked the Government Accountability Office in December to investigate this matter and we look forward to reviewing their final report.  The 2018 hurricane season begins this week and it is critical that we do not repeat the mistakes of last year. We can and must do better for all Americans, no matter where they come from.”

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978