POLITICO's Pulse Check

‘Every first responder is also a survivor’: Puerto Rico, six months later

Episode Summary

POLITICO looks at the health challenges still facing Puerto Rico, six months after the devastating hurricane hit — and after the national spotlight largely moved on.

Episode Notes

Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico nearly 200 days ago. For many residents — still dealing with power outages and no access to clean water — the disaster never ended.

And while the national spotlight has largely moved on, Puerto Rico remains one of the worst public health crises unfolding in the United States. This week’s episode of PULSE CHECK tries to unpack the structural problems with the nation's disaster response and what it means for residents’ health.

First, POLITICO’s Danny Vinik sits down with Dan Diamond to discuss his reporting on how the Trump administration favored Texas over Puerto Rico after devastating hurricanes struck. (Starts at the 1:15 mark.)

Then Dr. Oxiris Barbot, First Deputy Commissioner of New York City’s health department, joins PULSE CHECK to explain why she’s so concerned about Puerto Rico’s ongoing health challenges and what she’s learned on her trips to the island. (Starts at the 13:40 mark.)

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Referenced on the podcast:

Danny’s story on how Trump favored Texas over Puerto Rico in hurricane response: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/27/donald-trump-fema-hurricane-maria-response-480557

Reuters looked at Puerto Rico’s Medicaid shortfall: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-puertorico-medicaid/puerto-rico-seeks-help-as-medicaid-crisis-deepens-after-maria-idUSKBN1D158Y

Quartz reports on the spike in suicide rates on the island: https://qz.com/1239417/after-hurricane-maria-suicide-rates-rose-by-almost-a-third-in-puerto-rico/

As mentioned on the show, PULSE CHECK listener AZ-CPA praised this recent episode on religious freedom in health care: https://simplecast.com/s/4ed0877f