Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

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)

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

Andrea Germanos

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."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Stop Line 5': Valve Turner Forces Shutdown of Enbridge Oil Pipeline in Michigan

"We are here to protect the water, land, and air that support all life, including our own. Line 5 poses an immediate threat to our lives and these actions are taken out of necessity and in self-defense."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Delay Is the New Denial': Study Confirms 99.9% of Scientists Agree on Climate

"It's pretty much case closed for any meaningful public conversation about the reality of human-caused climate change."

Brett Wilkins ·


Exposed: How Pfizer Exploits Secretive Vaccine Contracts to Strong-Arm Governments

"Pfizer has used its monopoly on a lifesaving vaccine to extract concessions from desperate governments," said the report's author, urging action from the Biden administration.

Jessica Corbett ·


'A Toxic Presence in the Party': Ocasio-Cortez Joins Calls for Jay Jacobs to Resign

"India Walton is the Democratic nominee for mayor of Buffalo. No amount of racist misogyny from the old boys' club is going to change that."

Brett Wilkins ·


New Multimedia Report Details Unprecedented 'Permian Climate Bomb' in Texas

"If the Biden Administration wants to be serious about its promise to demonstrate U.S. climate leadership, it must first clean up its own backyard."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo