The updated Puerto Rican death toll for Hurricane Maria is in: 2,975. Dozens died in the actual storm, but thousands died in the ensuing weeks from lack of medical care, electricity, shelter, food, etc., and that warrants a second look.
That's why legislation from Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand aiming to create an independent commission to review the government's relief response to the natural disaster is such a necessary idea.
Whether bigotry played a role in depriving these Americans (yes, they're citizens) of care or the government was just totally unprepared for the task, the reasons need to be determined in order to do better the next time. With climate change on the rise, we know that hurricanes are only amplifying, so sadly there will be many "next" times.
We call on all of Congress to advance an independent commission in honor of those lost during this disaster - and in the hopes of having fewer lost lives in subsequent disasters.
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