Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria roared through Puerto Rico, destroying much of the island’s infrastructure, more than 500 homebound at-risk veterans still haven’t been reached by doctors, nurses and social workers, Fox News has learned.
There are 1,687 homebound vets in Puerto Rico who require ongoing treatment such as dialysis, chemotherapy and insulin to survive. Since Maria struck Sept. 20, the San Juan VA Medical Center has dispatched special teams consisting of a doctor, nurse and social worker to visit the homes of each one of these vets.
It has been a tough task. Most of the island still lacks power because of damage to the electric grid and intermittent phone service because of downed lines and cell towers. Many rural areas have been rendered inaccessible by damage to roads and the scarcity of gasoline for vehicles.
As of Tuesday, VA officials said visits have taken place at the homes of 1,147 homebound vets. That leaves 540 more to be seen. The VA is vowing to reach the rest but isn’t sure how long it will take.