Authorized statement of the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló:
(September 13, 2018 – La Fortaleza, San Juan) “The victims and the people of Puerto Rico do not deserve to have their pain questioned.
We are still mourning those who lost their lives because of the storm, and we continue to support the families affected by the loss of a loved one.
The people of Puerto Rico deserve a full accounting of the impact of the storm, and they deserve recognition of that impact by our president.
Puerto Rico suffered a terrible tragedy at the hands of Hurricane Maria, and we strongly denounce anyone who would use this disaster or question our suffering for political purposes.
I ask the president to recognize the magnitude of Hurricane Maria and continue working with my Government to ensure a full recovery of the American citizens of Puerto Rico. We cannot allow the devastation of our citizens to be questioned, and we cannot allow response efforts to be politicized.
Good government means a commitment to transparency and rectifying mistakes made. As part of our commitment to these principles, we commissioned the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University to conduct an independent analysis to help us determine the loss of life our Island incurred as a result of Hurricane Maria. The hurricane took the lives of 2,975. This is a fact, and based on that fact, we adjusted the official death toll.
It is not time to deny what happened, it is time to make sure that it does not happen again.
My administration and the people of Puerto Rico will continue to work together to build a better Puerto Rico. My hope is that the federal government will work alongside us on our path to recovery. It is time to reconstruct a new Puerto Rico; it’s what our people deserve and what Americans want.”