Trump’s message is clear: Our work here is (almost) done.
Let’s put aside those obvious contradictions and assess whether Trump’s claims that significant progress is being made in Puerto Rico is born out by the numbers.
Below, a series of data points, gathered from Department of Energy situation reports, Federal Communications Commission status report and status.pr, a website that FEMA has pointed people to track the progress of the recovery.
As you can see, the situation in Puerto Rico remains dire.
1. A whopping 83% of electricity customers are still without power
This morning’s status update shows that there has been some recovery. Status.pr says 17% of customers now have power. But progress has been insanely slow. A week ago, 9.2% of customers had power, meaning only an 8 percentage point improvement has been made in a week, with 83% to go.
According to Department of Energy reports, for eight days after the storm, the estimate was that 100% of the island was without power.
2. Vast majority of cell antennas are still knocked out
The island needs it.
“We need to take innovative approaches to help restore connectivity on the island,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Saturday.
3. Other businesses and services are returning faster
Here’s a third, less depressing chart. Puerto Rico is still struggling to return to normal but has made much more progress with other business and service operations.
87% of supermarkets are operating, up from 49% in late September and 65% in early October. (As of 10/12 status update)
79% of gas stations are open, up from 69% in early October. (As of 10/12 status update)
61% of bank branches are open, up from 49% in earlier in October. (As of 10/12 status update)