Administration Blots Out Damning Data on Puerto Rico's Lack of Power, Water From Federal Response Website

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Administration Blots Out Damning Data on Puerto Rico's Lack of Power, Water From Federal Response Website

Statistics conflicting with Trump administration's positive portrayal of response wiped out

FEMA's webpage providing statistics on the federal response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico no longer shows the percentage of those without clean drinking water or power. (Image: FEMA.gov with overlay)

FEMA's webpage providing statistics on the federal response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico no longer shows the percentage of those without clean drinking water or power. (Image: FEMA.gov with overlay)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has removed statistics on the large percentage of residents who still have no clean drinking water or electricity from its web page providing updates on the federal response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

The Washington Post reported Thursday on the suppressed information.

The page still exists, but no longer contains key data that 96 percent of the island's residents still don't have electricity and half still have no clean drinking water—statistics that clearly don't comport with President Donald Trump's positive pr spin on the administration's highly-criticized response to the devastation.

The data was still on the page as recently as Wednesday, but by Thursday had been wiped out.

The section entitled "Power Restoration and Fuel Impacts" no longer appears at all, and the "Water/Wastewater Impacts" section only reflects the percentage of waste water treatment plants running on generator power, leaving out the percentage of residents with access to drinking water.

Compare a portion of the web page from Wednesday (top) with how it appears on Friday (bottom):

Wednesday, October 4:

Portion of FEMA website as it appeared on Wednesday

Friday, October 6:

Portion of FEMA website as it appears Friday

FEMA spokesman William Booher told the Post, "Information on the stats you are specifically looking for are readily available" on www.status.pr, the Spanish-language website maintained by the office of Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

"In other words," writes Steve Benen at MSNBC, "there are statistics available to the public, just not the ones Team Trump dislikes."

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