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Soldiers and National Guard organize aid for the Santa Ana community in Puerto Rico Photo: Carlos Giusti / AP

More than two weeks after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, the island is still far from recovered. Fewer than 1 in 8 Puerto Ricans have electricity, and roughly half of the island is still without drinking water. The official death toll is at 36, but it is expected to climb further as recovery efforts continue.

What's next: Vice President Pence touched down in Puerto Rico this afternoon where he'll participate in a prayer service and receive an update on hurricane relief efforts.

The latest from Puerto Rico, per FEMA:

  • Boots on the ground: More than 15,100 federal civilian and military personnel, including more than 800 FEMA personnel, are on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Food: Approximately 65% of grocery stores are open.
  • Gas: Roughly 78.18% of retail gas stations are operational.
  • Transportation: More than 32.7 miles of roadway has been cleared; 100% of federally maintained ports are open or open with restrictions; and 100% airports are open.
  • Water and waste: More than 55.5% of Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) customers have potable water. 64% of waste water treatment plants are working on generator power.
  • Medical care: The Department of Defense's hospital ship, USNS Comfort, arrived in Puerto Rico on October 3 to provide additional surge capacity if needed; 97% hospitals and 96% Dialysis Centers open, but several medical centers are still running on generators and backup power systems, leaving most of them without air conditioning.
  • Supplies centers: As of October 6, PR Gov. Ricardo Rosello established 10 Regional Staging Areas around the island, serving all 78 municipalities. The National Guard is delivering supplies to those centers.
  • For more: The Puerto Rican government is updating the latest information on the state of the island on Status.pr.

Go deeper: The road to recovery for Puerto Rico; Lin-Manuel Miranda released a single for Puerto Rico.

Go deeper

Biden to nominate Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary

Photo: Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed Chair Janet Yellen as his Treasury Secretary, four people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Yellen, 74, will bring instant economic celebrity to Biden’s team and, if confirmed, she will not only be the first female Treasury Secretary but also the first person to have held all three economic power positions in the federal government: the chair of Council of Economic Advisers, the chair of Federal Reserve and the Treasury Secretary.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Bob Nelsen on AstraZeneca and his plan to revolutionize biotech

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford on Monday reported promising efficacy data for their COVID-19 vaccine, which has less stringent storage requirements than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and may be distributed earlier in developing countries.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of vaccine and therapeutics manufacturing with Bob Nelsen, a successful biotech investor who on Monday launched Resilience, a giant new pharma production platform that he believes will prepare America for its next major health challenges.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Updated 2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Unpacking Joe Biden's decision to tap John Kerry as his climate envoy

Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is naming former Secretary of State John Kerry as a special presidential envoy for climate change.

Why it matters: The transition team's announcement sought to show that it will be an influential role, noting that Kerry — a former Massachusetts senator and the Democrats' 2004 presidential nominee — will be on the National Security Council.