The Death Toll in Puerto Rico

Some stunning numbers in an under-reported story from the NYT:  Official Toll in Puerto Rico: 62.  Actual Deaths May Be 1,052.

The entire piece is worth reading and sharing.

FILED UNDER: US Politics, , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. MarkedMan says:

    Just another entry in the catalog of the ways the Republican Party and this administration increasingly takes “1984” as a user’s manual: the insistence that the death toll is only 62 accompanied by the not so veiled threat that if Puerto Rican officials challenge the Official Truth, aid dollars will suffer.

  2. gVOR08 says:

    The Mercers, Kochs, Adelson et al look to Russian oligarchy with envy. They want a country in which favors are dispensed only to obsequious courtiers.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    And I am supposed to be surprised by this?

  4. gVOR08 says:

    I also note the paucity of Puerto Rico coverage from the supposedly liberal MSM.

    Off topic, but the MSM gives me a little segue, I hope everyone is aware of the Columbia Journalism Review analysis titled Don’t blame the election on fake news. Blame it on the media. Seems to leave little doubt that the NYT, and the rest of the MSM, are largely responsible forTrump’s election. I know they need to peddle papers, but their devotion to scandal, no matter how far they have to stretch for it, over policy is going to destroy democracy.

  5. de stijl says:


    I know they need to peddle papers, but their devotion to scandal, no matter how far they have to stretch for it, over policy is going to destroy democracy.

    You’re not going to like this response, but it is true…

    Scandal is news. Newspapers cover news. Newspapers rarely cover policy in and of itself unless it is adjacent to an interesting, newsworthy event. For a newspaper, objective policy analysis basically are bullet points in paragraph two.

    Then you have to get quotes from people who agree with the policy and those who disagree.

    Then you may possibly allude to the ramifications of the policy, or its history.

    Flat-out stating that Policy A is good or bad goes outside of what we now consider objective reporting. That is only acceptable in an editorial on the appropriate page. Straight news reporting rejects (or tries very hard to) picking a policy “winner.”

    Newspapers are not policy journals.

  6. gVOR08 says:

    @de stijl: Actually, I agree. But the MSM do need to look to their ehics and Dems need to find ways to manipulate them better. The MSM is so freakishly attentive to the concerns of the right. NYT is still defending their obsessive coverage of emails and the squeaky clean Clinton Foundation. Why so much coverage of Hillary’s non-scandals and so little coverage of the actual scandals in Trump’s foundation, Kushner’s foundation, Trump U, Trump’s real estate dealings etc.?

  7. de stijl says:


    Faux objectivity requires newspapers to “investigate” both sides equally. Even if there is no there there, they still have to do it to maintain what they call objectivity.

    It’s actually really good, though.

    Poking and prodding, and then telling us what they found, is what newspapers are optimally meant to do. They should poke and prod everything.

    The collapse of newspapers by budget constraints is a profound change. I’d say a very negative change. Even just combing through the local police blotter and asking questions. We will never know if the city councilperson is on the take if no one is looking. We will never know if a local cop is a thumper if no one reads the police blotter and follows up.

    The death of local journalism is a frightening thing.

  8. gVOR08 says:

    @de stijl: Indeed. Our local paper, the Cincinnati Enquirer, was never very useful for local politics, they had a dog in too many of the fights and no interest in exposing the establishment. But they’ve managed to become even worse as the economics got harder.