Trump Said Puerto Rico’s Electric Plant Was ‘Dead Before the Hurricane.’ It Wasn’t

President Trump met with reporters Wednesday, answering questions about a new report that the death toll on Puerto Rico reached nearly 3,000 following Hurricane Maria in 2017.

“I think we did a fantastic job in Puerto Rico,” President Trump responded, adding, “don’t forget, their electric plant was dead before the hurricane.”

It would be hard for anyone to remember that, though, since what Trump said isn’t true. Before Hurricane Maria devastated the island in September 2017, Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy crisis loomed large. The territory’s energy company PREPA had filed for a form of bankruptcy earlier that year, in order to manage its $9 billion debt load. Then, once the storm made landfall, power was knocked out and thousands of people were displaced.

But the power utility isn’t one of the commonwealth’s problems right now—nor is it closed up or “dead.” Just over two weeks ago, on August 14, power was fully restored on Puerto Rico, marking the first time the entire island has had power since the storm.

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