A judge just ordered Puerto Rico to release all death certificates issued after Hurricane Maria

A superior court judge in San Juan ordered the government of Puerto Rico on Tuesday to release detailed data on every single death recorded on the island since Hurricane Maria made landfall in late September.

The data could provide much-needed insight into the true death toll from Hurricane Maria, which has been a source of controversy ever since President Trump visited the island and declared the low death count a victory. The official death toll is 64, despite growing evidence that the number of people who died in the storm’s aftermath is in the thousands.

A recent Harvard study published in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated that upward of 4,645 people died as a result of Hurricane Maria, mainly from the lack of electricity and medical care after the storm. Then on Friday, Puerto Rico’s Health Department said 1,397 overall deaths were reported from September to December in 2017 that might be linked to the storm, according to the Associated Press. Read more…