Puerto Ricanstruction: The Politics of Counting the Dead

TRUMP
President Donald Trump, left, listens as FEMA Administrator Brock Long, center, talks about Hurricane Florence in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, as Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen listens at right. Susan Walsh / AP Photo
TRUMP
President Donald Trump, left, listens as FEMA Administrator Brock Long, center, talks about Hurricane Florence in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, as Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen listens at right. Susan Walsh / AP Photo

Puerto Ricanstruction: The Politics of Counting the Dead

As Hurricane Florence descended on the Carolina coast last week, President Trump touted his track record handling the response to 2017’s hurricane season. Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico a year ago this week, was originally reported to only have cause a few dozen deaths. But several studies have suggested the number is closer to 3,000. Both Trump, and his FEMA administrator Brock Long, claimed those numbers were exaggerated to make him look bad. Richard Santiago was on the faculty at La Escuela de Artes Plasticas y Diseno in San Juan until he and his family were displaced as a result of Hurricane Maria.  Through the help of the local community, he’s made a home in Chicago. His latest art projects have revolved around raising awareness around the death count. Santiago joins Worldview to discuss the renewed conversation around death, disaster management, and hurricanes.