The news media can play a major role in communicating the desperate plight of survivors of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. “I beg you to please don’t forget your responsibility to continue to bring light into the humanitarian crisis that is happening in Puerto Rico,” Congresswoman Nydia Valezquez, D-NY, said at a news conference in Manhattan. “There is no way to sugar coat it.”

Appearing alongside Senator Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and Congressman José E. Serrano, D-NY, Congresswoman Valezquez made a passionate appeal to the federal government to “do its job. By every metric it is abundantly and tragically clear that the response to Maria has been ineffective, slow and weak. And the result is that our fellow citizens, American citizens, are suffering and dying.”

Congresswoman Valezquez noted that 44% of Puerto Ricans were living in poverty before the hurricane devastated the island, and that 70% of hospitals are relying on generators “that were not meant for that kind of function. They’re not going to last. And therefore it’s compromising peoples’ lives. This is a terrible situation.”

Added Congresswoman Valezquez: “One life that is lost is too many. By the way, 49 people have died already. More than 100 unaccounted. People suspect the death toll is going to be much higher.

“The whole world is watching what is happening in Puerto Rico. We are Americans. Americans take care of each other.”

Stand With Puerto, The Industry Steps Up

This video reports on the pressing issues facing Puerto Rico and the organizations that are having an impact. It is part of a media industry initiative titled Stand With Puerto Rico. It is organized by Beet.TV and Omnicom Media Group along with founding partners AT&T AdWorks and Teads. Please find additional videos from the series here.