In the face of mounting evidence of a vast undercount by the government, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló has called for a recount of the death toll from Hurricane Maria. The government’s official death toll stands at 64. But several investigations have revealed that nearly 1,000 more people died. The Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico examined the 40-day period after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico compared to that same time period last year and found at least 985 additional people died. This week, The New York Times and other outlets published statistics from the Puerto Rican government that show the death toll may be more than 1,000. As Congress prepares to vote on the controversial tax bill, the United Nations has issued a scathing report on poverty in the United States that found the Trump administration and Republicans are turning the U.S. into the “world champion of extreme inequality.” Philip Alston, the United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, announced his findings after conducting a two-week fact-finding mission across the country, including visits to California, Alabama, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Alston also warned that the Republican tax bill will transfer vast amounts of wealth to the richest earners while making life harder for the 41 million Americans living in poverty. Among other startling findings in Alston’s report, the U.S. ranks 36th in the world in terms of access to water and sanitation.
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