ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling for the establishment of an independent federal commission to investigate the federal response to 2017 natural disasters in Puerto Rico.
After the release of the Harvard School of Public Health’s analysis estimating that the death toll of Hurricane Maria could be 70 times higher than the current official estimate, Governor Cuomo joined Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez’s demand for a commission to immediately investigate the federal response, death toll and any negligence or failure to appropriately respond, as well as disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
Congresswoman Velázquez is preparing legislation to establish the Commission.
“The recent report that the death toll of Hurricane Maria is 70 times higher than previously reported is horrifying, unconscionable and must spur us to action. While I am proud that New York has led the recovery effort for our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters, I am appalled by the federal government’s abhorrent failure to respond appropriately and to prevent this massive loss of life,” Governor Cuomo said in a media release. “I join Congresswoman Velázquez in demanding a thorough investigation of the federal response to identify and root out any negligence and to mitigate damage and prevent tragedies during the upcoming hurricane season.”