When Hurricane Maria stuck Puerto Rico in September, billions of dollars worth of damage was done, and much of the island was left without power.
Months later, it's been revealed that the death toll is far higher than the official toll of 64, with at least 499 people killed in Puerto Rico according to funeral home directors and staff, who say that months without power and other essentials have led to indirect hundreds of indirect deaths.
The New York Times and a group of academics believe the number could be even higher — closer to 1,000 — a figure they calculated by comparing mortality rates to previous years.
Puerto Rico's governor, Ricardo Rosselló, has since announced plans to reassess the official death toll.
With infrastructure still damaged on much of the island, Puerto Ricans are moving to the mainland in mass.
The most popular destination? Nearby Florida, where Governor Rick Scott says 250,000 Puerto Ricans have arrived since the hurricane.
.@FLGovScott says 250,000 Puerto Ricans have arrived in FL; he wrote this end of year commentary:— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) December 21, 2017
"Florida's quick response to aid Puerto Rico" - it's our "responsibility" to make sure "they can raise their children and live the American Dream in Florida"https://t.co/gXF0Rig0Z1
Governor Ricardo Rosselló and Florida congressmen and women have requested additional funding for emergency housing from FEMA.
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló will request an extension to the Transitional Shelter Assistance Program (TSA) for another 60 days, so that Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricanes Irma and Maria can continue to receive FEMA housing vouchers in Florida.— Frances Robles (@FrancesRobles) December 21, 2017
And following the recent passing of President Donald Trump's tax bill, which Governor Ricardo Rosselló believes could further damage the island's economy, Rosselló has threatened to mobilize the ever increasing number of Puerto Ricans on the mainland.
Opponents of the bill say the legislation will help corporations and the wealthy on the backs of the middle class. According to a poll by Quinnipiac University, only 25 percent of Americans approve of the bill, and 61 percent believe that the bill mainly helps the wealthy.
The bill does give tax cuts, but many experts believe that these will be offset by plans to remove state and local tax deductions.
Social media was quick to respond to the threat.
More & more Puerto Ricans keep moving to Florida. Between 1. the slower than Texas/Florida Federal emergency response; 2. the paper-towel tossing; 3. all the stupid stuff Trump says; & 4. thetax bill, statewide Republicans in FLA should be very worried. Muy, muy preocupados.🇵🇷— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) December 21, 2017
For those unfamiliar with the demographics of FL: Puerto Ricans and Floridians of PR descent have already begun to reshape https://t.co/13N34kRI7w- Maria (200k new residents alone) in central Florida. Trump’s disdain for Latinos will probably permanently set FL for a generation https://t.co/ZtSG0Wj5Wl— Rebecca Marques (@_RebeccaMarques) December 21, 2017
What do you think?