“White House says it’s done ‘the best we can’ on hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico” — Yahoo News, June 5, 2018

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To the People of the United States of America,

We here at U.S. State Department have learned that you have recently been made aware of the actual number of Puerto Rican citizens who died last year after Hurricane Maria, and we would like to account for our actions. We originally reported that the number of lives lost was 64 because it seemed like a good number that conveyed the magnitude of the storm while not fully revealing just how badly we screwed up the relief and recovery effort. Unfortunately, a report by those busybodies at Harvard has estimated that as many as 4,645 people died as a result of Maria and its aftermath.

The thing is, we didn’t think you’d find out. In fact, we were under the impression that you didn’t really care much about Puerto Rico. After all, it’s just an island of Puerto Ricans, right? We thought you guys were on the same page as us. Seriously, it’s not like this was Hurricane Katrina or 9/11, even though more people died in Puerto Rico than in both of those horrible incidents.

Up until now, our strategy has worked like a charm. We’d be involved in something nefarious in some Latin American country, and we’d say something evasive or ambiguous about it, which you all would buy hook, line, and sinker. Easy peasy! But nope, this time around you just couldn’t let it go. People like Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted out the details of just how bad things really were, and, well, it made us look like real jerks. It didn’t matter how many paper towels we threw at the problem, you all decided that enough was enough and that Puerto Rico suddenly mattered.

Why does everyone constantly need to make everything about politics anyway? All we did was fudge the number of deaths that occurred due to us actively neglecting the island. What’s the big deal? We have been actively neglecting Puerto Rico for decades, over numerous administrations, both Republican and Democrat. Seriously, ask Obama about PROMESA. You really can’t blame us; it’s this history of apathy towards the island that made us assume you’d just let it all slide.

So, please, do your country a solid and stop holding us accountable for our inaction and ineptitude. Next thing you know, you’ll discover that we have separated children from their parents at our borders, or that we have misplaced hundreds of those children and have absolutely no clue where they are. Hoo-boy, imagine the tweets Lin-Manuel Miranda would write about that.

The U.S. State Department