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26 September 2017, 12:31 | Katrina Lee
The storm maintained its 185-mph winds after making its first landfall on Barbuda early Wednesday
In the wake of Hurricane Maria, medical services in Puerto Rico are in a precarious position, and for some patients it is safer to evacuate to the US mainland for treatment.
The news conference was held by Andrew Cuomo, the governor of NY, who announced a statewide relief effort for Puerto Rico, for which Ms. Lopez is a co-chairwoman.
HurricaneMaria left a wide swath of devastation last week in Puerto Rico.
Lopez shared that together with her ex-husband Marc Anthony, they were working to spearhead "additional relief efforts" to "rush the relief that our brothers and sisters in Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean desperately need". Puerto Rican authorities said the death toll there has risen to 16, up from 10 previously.
After her Saturday night show in Las Vegas, Jennifer Lopez headed straight to her hometown so she could attend a press conference, where New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state's initiative to help Puerto Rico.
"Part of the island is lacking communications so what we have are some preliminary assessments about 13 deaths at this juncture", he told CNN. If the aid response is not swift, the situation in Puerto Rico has all the makings of a major humanitarian crisis. The singer and actress took to Instagram Friday to tell her followers that she hadn't heard from her family in Puerto Rico after the recent hurricanes that swept through the area.
Puerto Rico is home to over 70 medical manufacturing plants including Abbott, Medtronic, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and others. "Puerto Rico will practically collect no taxes in the next month".
Lopez addressed the crowd in both Spanish and English, saying "Lives have been lost". As a comparison, Hurricane Irma, which grazed the island two weeks ago, caused $45 million in losses of agricultural production. Earlier this month, HurricaneIrma swiped near Puerto Rico, as well. Power is down across the entire island.
"Puerto Rico is going through one of the toughest times in its history, and the island desperately needs us".
Across Puerto Rico, more than 15,000 people are in shelters, including some 2,000 rescued from the north coastal town of Toa Baja.
Cuomo also made a reference to Republican President Donald Trump's comments criticizing athletes who protest during the national anthem, saying "instead of arguing with football players. why don't we put the politics aside and focus on helping Americans in desperate need".
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