In other news of numbers being ignored, hurricane season is coming up.

Last hurricane season, of course, being very bad for bits of the United States, particularly Puerto Rico, the unincorporated territory with over 3 million US citizens that's totally not a colony. Still official estimates put the death toll at a paltry 74, despite widespread damage and devastation.

Of course, then in the aftermath people started to notice there were quite a lot of funerals happening for for only 74 dead, so the colonial governor asked some universities to do some studies.

Harvard's came in: their estimate of the death toll clocks in at over 4500 people, with large portions caused by the devastated and unreliable power system we hired two guys from Whitefish, Montana to fix.

altnameJag:
Whitefish, Montana

And the best thing about getting energy from guys in Whitefish?

Sorry, too tempting to pass up.

Anyways, what's the best way to prepare our infrastructure for the upcoming storms?

CM156:

altnameJag:
Whitefish, Montana

And the best thing about getting energy from guys in Whitefish?

Sorry, too tempting to pass up.

It's all fun and games until Montana veterans start organizing buses to counter-protest Nazis. In other news, their attempt at a white fish rally petered out, because Nazis are cowards.

Anyways, what's the best way to prepare our infrastructure for the upcoming storms?

Buried powerlines help a lot. Pity how most energy companies who get massive stacks of public cash to upgrade their infrastructure end up...not.

You should really change the title of this thread to "four and a half fucking thousand."

This was worse than what even the pessimists were expecting. Katrina killed "only" about two thousand people. It makes Trump's humblebrag in the weeks after the storm look fucking ridiculous.

This oughta weigh him down like a fucking anchor for the rest of his life.

bastardofmelbourne:
You should really change the title of this thread to "four and a half fucking thousand."

This was worse than what even the pessimists were expecting. Katrina killed "only" about two thousand people. It makes Trump's humblebrag in the weeks after the storm look fucking ridiculous.

This oughta weigh him down like a fucking anchor for the rest of his life.

This sounds about right. I honestly haven't wanted to talk about the BS I dealt with while there because it honestly seemed like at all levels of government there they could care less about people living or dying. They were apathetic and unwilling to help with anything. The corruption in all levels of government no matter where you turned, in PR or by the feds was just all bad. This is why I suggested the people there if at all possible come to the US mainland and live in US for 30 days in a swing vote area prior to an election and vote for people who will help PR because that is the only way I see this ever changing. Trying to get anything done or get help of any kind was useless.

altnameJag:
Last hurricane season, of course, being very bad for bits of the United States, particularly Puerto Rico, the unincorporated territory with over 3 million US citizens that's totally not a colony. Still official estimates put the death toll at a paltry 74, despite widespread damage and devastation.

Of course, then in the aftermath people started to notice there were quite a lot of funerals happening for for only 74 dead, so the colonial governor asked some universities to do some studies.

Harvard's came in: their estimate of the death toll clocks in at over 4500 people, with large portions caused by the devastated and unreliable power system we hired two guys from Whitefish, Montana to fix.

It is all about " get mine and screw everyone else" is the problem. As long as the Press doesn't find out and they keep it on the low, No one cares. This was the overwhelming sentiment involved by far. The people could not help themselves and and the vast majority of the government locally and federally was not there for the people.

That is an astounding degree of negligence. There's no hope of anybody in the administration ever taking responsibility for it, no apologies, no admittance of mistake, no weakness to ever be shown regardless of how weak it actually makes you look. Just tune in to a GOP sympathetic news channel that can commit to a deflection and take that as the new reality instead. The pressure should be focused on voters to recognise what's harmful to them and to push away the selfish charlatans before they do further damage to everybody they are paid to improve the livelihoods of.

CM156:

Jesus christ, Spencer has gotten fat as hell.

OT: Of course, what would you expect? They are poor brown people. The US doesn't exactly have a stellar history when it comes to the treatment of either group.

I am lucky I live in the neighbourhood where I live.

No floods here since there are no nearby rivers, I live in a completely cemented house so no risk of damage and exporsure, and my closest family members are still alive.

Still we were not underneath the hurricane's eye though...

The article doesn't say how they arrived at that number.

Not saying it's an inaccurate number, just wondering how they're counting considering the WILD discrepancy between that and the "official" count.

Is the official number of 64 dead caused directly by the hurricane, whereas the other deaths are indirectly caused by the hurricane and therefore not counted in the official stats (reminding us all how easy it is to make stats lie)?

bastardofmelbourne:
This oughta weigh him down like a fucking anchor for the rest of his life.

It won't. Our media is more interested in Roseanne.

Dirty Hipsters:
Is the official number of 64 dead caused directly by the hurricane, whereas the other deaths are indirectly caused by the hurricane and therefore not counted in the official stats (minding us all how easy it is to make stats lie)?

There were a lot of problems with the official death toll for Hurricane Maria that have been known about for a long time.

For example, in the weeks after the hurricane hit, federal authorities were only tallying hurricane deaths if the body could be physically presented to the Institute of Forensic Science in San Juan for an autopsy. But for weeks and months after the hurricane hit, the roads throughout Puerto Rico were completely shot, meaning that it was impossible to transport a body to the capital to have it examined. The same problems prevented medical examiners from visiting the outlying villages that were hit hardest by the storm.

Then there's the fact that, as you guessed, the authorities were only tallying deaths as hurricane fatalities if they were directly caused by the hurricane - so, people who drowned during the initial storm. But a huge portion of deaths from any natural disaster always come in the following weeks, as people die from lack of medical care and from preventable diseases. Hospitals in Puerto Rico were without power for weeks, meaning that many patients who relied on hospital machinery to stay alive - people on dialysis, for example - ended up dying. And that's not getting into the deaths from diseases spread by a lack of access to clean drinking water. Making these worse was the persistent stonewalling of the federal government, which stopped sharing mortality data with the public in late 2017.

So what the guys who perform these mortality studies actually did was tackle the problem from the opposite angle. They just compare the mortality rate in the weeks after the hurricane to the average mortality rate before the hurricane, and work backwards from there to get a picture of how many people died. In this case, they checked the records of the overall body count - not just bodies that the government had determined were hurricane fatalities according to their strict interpretation - and polled households to find out what proportion of Puerto Ricans had lost a family member during the storm. From that, they arrived at the 4,645 estimate (a 62% increase in mortality), which the study's authors suspect should actually be higher because of difficulties in accounting for single-member households or people whose bodies were just never found.

What we'll see over the next few weeks if this issue is given the attention it deserves is a lot of equivocating from the White House, which will either try to discredit the study or blame the Puerto Ricans themselves for the deaths. Admittedly, studies like this have a wide margin of error - depending on how you interpret hurricane deaths, the authors think the final tally could be as low as 800 or as high as 8,000 - but even if you lowball it as far as you can go, that's still roughly a thousand deaths in Puerto Rico. Which received a tenth of the funding that Texas did after Hurricane Harvey, which killed...about a hundred people. Huh. Funny how that works.

bastardofmelbourne:

Dirty Hipsters:
Is the official number of 64 dead caused directly by the hurricane, whereas the other deaths are indirectly caused by the hurricane and therefore not counted in the official stats (minding us all how easy it is to make stats lie)?

There were a lot of problems with the official death toll for Hurricane Maria that have been known about for a long time.

For example, in the weeks after the hurricane hit, federal authorities were only tallying hurricane deaths if the body could be physically presented to the Institute of Forensic Science in San Juan for an autopsy. But for weeks and months after the hurricane hit, the roads throughout Puerto Rico were completely shot, meaning that it was impossible to transport a body to the capital to have it examined. The same problems prevented medical examiners from visiting the outlying villages that were hit hardest by the storm.

Then there's the fact that, as you guessed, the authorities were only tallying deaths as hurricane fatalities if they were directly caused by the hurricane - so, people who drowned during the initial storm. But a huge portion of deaths from any natural disaster always come in the following weeks, as people die from lack of medical care and from preventable diseases. Hospitals in Puerto Rico were without power for weeks, meaning that many patients who relied on hospital machinery to stay alive - people on dialysis, for example - ended up dying. And that's not getting into the deaths from diseases spread by a lack of access to clean drinking water. Making these worse was the persistent stonewalling of the federal government, which stopped sharing mortality data with the public in late 2017.

So what the guys who perform these mortality studies actually did was tackle the problem from the opposite angle. They just compare the mortality rate in the weeks after the hurricane to the average mortality rate before the hurricane, and work backwards from there to get a picture of how many people died. In this case, they checked the records of the overall body count - not just bodies that the government had determined were hurricane fatalities according to their strict interpretation - and polled households to find out what proportion of Puerto Ricans had lost a family member during the storm. From that, they arrived at the 4,645 estimate (a 62% increase in mortality), which the study's authors suspect should actually be higher because of difficulties in accounting for single-member households or people whose bodies were just never found.

What we'll see over the next few weeks if this issue is given the attention it deserves is a lot of equivocating from the White House, which will either try to discredit the study or blame the Puerto Ricans themselves for the deaths. Admittedly, studies like this have a wide margin of error - depending on how you interpret hurricane deaths, the authors think the final tally could be as low as 800 or as high as 8,000 - but even if you lowball it as far as you can go, that's still roughly a thousand deaths in Puerto Rico. Which received a tenth of the funding that Texas did after Hurricane Harvey, which killed...about a hundred people. Huh. Funny how that works.

Thanks for the explanation.

I basically figured that the government stats were based on technicalities with regards to categorization of hurricane related deaths.

Just like with any stats, if you're able to make up your own definition for a variable you can manipulate the data in any way that suits your personal definitions.

People say that arguing semantics is pointless and pedantic, but often times just the meaning of a term makes a huge difference in the framing of an argument.

In another edition of "The News Ignores Important Stuff For Dumb Shit," Vox has produced a breakdown of how the US cable news ecosystem has collectively ignored Puerto Rico, even in the light of what should be an explosive new assessment of the death toll. The New York Times, normally a paper that has its shit together, put the revised death toll on page 13 the day the news broke. What shocking new event managed to push 4,500 dead bodies off of its front page? Roseanne getting cancelled.

Stay classy, America.

bastardofmelbourne:
In another edition of "The News Ignores Important Stuff For Dumb Shit," Vox has produced a breakdown of how the US cable news ecosystem has collectively ignored Puerto Rico, even in the light of what should be an explosive new assessment of the death toll. The New York Times, normally a paper that has its shit together, put the revised death toll on page 13 the day the news broke. What shocking new event managed to push 4,500 dead bodies off of its front page? Roseanne getting cancelled.

Stay classy, America.

Money and clicks make priority in the sweet capitalist extreme utopia of America. Still no less disappointing and depressing.

Government tried to suppress the death toll, Judge finally orders government to release death certificates.

The court said in its ruling earlier in the day that the government also has to turn over other information, including copies of all burial and cremation permits issued after the Category 4 storm and allow access to the demographic registrar's database that details causes of death.

"The information ... is public by nature," wrote Judge Lauracelis Roques. "People still don't have a clear picture as to how many lives were lost due to a lack of food, medicine, health services or simply because of an ineffective response to an emergency. That's why it's urgent to shed light on all components of government preparedness and response."

The government has seven days to comply with the ruling, which responds to a lawsuit filed by CNN and Puerto Rico's Center for Investigative Journalism.

They're wrong," the judge wrote. "Allowing the truth to be known would contribute to and smooth a path toward a process of recovery from the great pain that Hurricane Maria caused to thousands of Puerto Rican families."

The ruling comes just days after Puerto Rico's Institute of Statistics filed a lawsuit against the island's health department and demographic registry seeking more data on the number of deaths reported after Maria. Hours after that lawsuit was filed, the health department said that an additional 1,397 overall deaths were reported from September to December in 2017, compared with the same period the previous year. However, officials did not provide causes of death for any of the 11,459 total people deceased during the period.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/court-orders-puerto-rico-to-release-storm-related-death-data/2018/06/05/cf8b9278-68c9-11e8-a335-c4503d041eaf_story.html?utm_term=.8fe16e9f9796

Xsjadoblayde:
That is an astounding degree of negligence. There's no hope of anybody in the administration ever taking responsibility for it, no apologies, no admittance of mistake, no weakness to ever be shown regardless of how weak it actually makes you look. Just tune in to a GOP sympathetic news channel that can commit to a deflection and take that as the new reality instead. The pressure should be focused on voters to recognise what's harmful to them and to push away the selfish charlatans before they do further damage to everybody they are paid to improve the livelihoods of.

Puerto Rico is not able to vote for President so Trump will not even acknowledge them as being US citizens. I do not think anything will change for Puerto Rico unless they are able to come to the US swing districts and vote for elections to change it. Maybe people should sponsor Paying for Puerto Ricans to come live in the Mainland for 30 days prior to elections to allow them to vote so these things will change. Them not having a vote, and Republicans maintaining a Majority to block them from becoming a state, blocking help for them and blocking ability to vote nothing can change, but if they come to the mainland they are allowed to vote in federal elections. They just have to live in the district they are voting in for 30 days prior.

That is the only way I see anything ever happening.

Can you imagine the conniption fit the republicans would throw if Rural sticks were being invaded by puerto ricans prior to elections and how they would claim they were being invaded by illegal immigrants when they are US citizens? Sponsor them to go live in Klan territory and vote their racists out of office would be a welcome change.

Lil devils x:
Puerto Rico is not able to vote for President so Trump will not even acknowledge them as being US citizens. I do not think anything will change for Puerto Rico unless they are able to come to the US swing districts and vote for elections to change it. Maybe people should sponsor Paying for Puerto Ricans to come live in the Mainland for 30 days prior to elections to allow them to vote so these things will change. Them not having a vote, and Republicans maintaining a Majority to block them from becoming a state, blocking help for them and blocking ability to vote nothing can change, but if they come to the mainland they are allowed to vote in federal elections. They just have to live in the district they are voting in for 30 days prior.

That is the only way I see anything ever happening.

Can you imagine the conniption fit the republicans would throw if Rural sticks were being invaded by puerto ricans prior to elections and how they would claim they were being invaded by illegal immigrants when they are US citizens? Sponsor them to go live in Klan territory and vote their racists out of office would be a welcome change.

That would be a tactic I'd love to see utilised to its fullest. Not that the US ever had much respect for its own citizens either way beyond the faintest of shallow rhetoric served to only the most devout of loyalists and military recruitment. It's just more blatant when there's some sort of visible degree of separation the megalomaniac fucks in power can use for their justification to shun them entirely. How much longer can Puerto Ricans take being treated as non-citizens while local weather conditions inevitably grow more intense and fatal? How many more deaths, corruption, lies and misrepresentation can still be handwaved without mass revolt?
If your idea is put into action at any point - hopefully so, it being the only foreseeable opportunity for them to be heard and represented - am wondering what reaction it would create; would Republicans look to restricting their travel or other rights in any attempt to put up a barrier between the them and polling stations, do you think? How ugly would the GOP get, after everything else they've done so far? I don't think they could honestly restrain themselves in their own panic at this point.

For anyone too lazy to chase links, the actual paper is here: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1803972?query=main_nav_lg& (As a side note, I really hate papers written in first person)

Yup, that sucks. Particularly because most of its down to infrastructure issues which could totally be fixed given the willpower.

Of course, the other big issue is the increase in mental health conditions (PTSD, depression) following an event like this, which tends to be pretty major. Which again is screwed over by the lack of appropriate infrastructure.

 

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