The situations at hospitals across Puerto Rico are dire. As the island works to recover from Category 4 Hurricane Maria, the island’s more than 3 million population has to contend with the lack of electricity, being displaced, and the fact that supplies are scarce. Given the humanitarian crisis that’s unfolding on the island, Pitbull is doing his part to help Puerto Rico’s most vulnerable. Mr. 305 sent his private plane to PR so that cancer patients could receive the treatment they need in the mainland, according to New York Daily News.
— Jenniffer González (@Jenniffer2012) September 26, 2017
In a tweet, Puerto Rico Congresswoman Jenniffer González thanked him for his generosity. Pitbull merely said, “Thank God we’re blessed to help. Just doing my part.” His offer could not only have life-saving results for the cancer patients, but it could also ease the considerable burden that hospitals are shouldering. Without every necessary tool at their disposal, hospitals are struggling.
Electricity is out in most places, meaning that many are relying on generators. But generators cannot power X-ray machines, CT scans, and air conditioning, making for dangerous conditions for patients. Diesel is also hard to procure. There have been many reports of people waiting for hours to get gas, only to go home empty handed. That’s what happened to Marangelly García on Monday. After waiting for eight hours to get fuel for her family’s generator, the station ran out before it was her turn, according to Reuters.
Puerto Rican authorities state that the island has enough gas, but it’s having issues with distribution. And hospitals are feeling these effects. At San Jorge Children’s Hospital in San Juan, for example, spent hours without power. “We are dealing with a crisis right now,” Domingo Cruz Vivaldi, the hospital’s executive director, told CNN. “The hospital is needing diesel every day – 2,000 gallons a day. Yesterday, we ran out of diesel at 6 a.m. and we were without electricity at the hospital from 6 a.m. through 2 p.m. Eight hours without electricity.”
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló said getting all the hospitals running is one of the island’s main concerns. In a place like Arecibo – the island’s largest city by size – all five hospitals are currently closed. There’s also concern that diseases will spread. With the high mosquito counts, diseases like Zika, dengue, and chikungunya can spread, according to The New York Times. Also decomposing animals and rats can add to the public health crisis. Dr. Rodríguez-Mercado said, “What worries me is the sincere possibility of epidemics.”