“That’s part one of my interview with the mayor who, as you heard, still claims that people are dying although the death count is 16, has been 16 since the storm. I could find no one dying,” Rivera said in wrapping up the segment. “She was highly critical of President Trump … I severely and profoundly lament that politics has introduced its ugly head; the situation is bad enough.”

On Friday, Stephen E. Flynn, the founding director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University, told Newsweek the ruinous state of the island is to be attributed to the stagnant death toll rate, which hasn’t been updated since last Monday.

“Sadly, the island is so badly damaged that there is no ability to communicate, no way to know the number of people who may have been killed in the storm itself with houses coming down, debris,” Flynn said.

“Anybody who’s already vulnerable and going for a long period of time without power and is reliant on medications, electronic monitoring, medical devices … as the days march on—and the days are marching on—they become a much more frail population,” he continued.

Also, Secretary Rodriguez-Mercado told the Miami Herald the actual death toll is higher than that which has been reported.