“The idea that things are back to normal [in Puerto Rico] is a crock,” says Julio Ricardo Varela of Latino USA and In The Thick. It’s been six months since Hurricane Maria hit the island, and reports estimate that 100,000 Puerto Ricans are still without power — which means that American citizens are still dying and desperate for help.
The recovery for Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria hasn’t seen the urgency of Houston with Hurricane Harvey, or Florida with Hurricane Irma. And while people like to blame Trump or the federal government for the devastation and slow response, Varela explains that much of the problem stems from Puerto Rico’s major infrastructure deficiency and the failings of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.
“It’s not just that the federal government messed up with Puerto Rico; Puerto Rico messed up,” he said to Sean Rameswaram in the latest episode of Today, Explained.
For more on the state of Puerto Rico and why it matters, you can listen to Today, Explained here:
- Puerto Rico’s blackout, the largest in history, explained, by Vox reporter Umair Irfan
- 6 months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has a suicide crisis and a housing shortage, by Vox’s Alexia Fernández Campbell
- The death count, by Marlon Bishop
How do I get even more Today, Explained?
You can get the news we’re reading throughout the day, facts and stats to make you smarter about the world, and behind-the-scenes photos on Twitter at @Today_Explained. You can follow Sean at @Rameswaram and Julio Ricardo Varela at @Julito77.
How do I report a problem?
For all issues or feedback, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I listen?
What if I want to listen at home?
If you have Amazon Echo, add Today, Explained to your flash briefing. If you have Google Home, just say, “Hey Google, play the Today, Explained podcast!”