Marta Sostre Vazquez reacts as she wades into the San Lorenzo Morovis River with her family on Wednesday after a bridge was swept away. The family was returning to their home after visiting family on the other side. Photo: Gerald Herbert / AP

"I was stunned as I walked through the darkened and humid arrivals terminal at San Juan's International Airport two days after Hurricane Maria blasted its way across Puerto Rico," AP's Chris Gillette writes in a "Reporter's Notebook":

"It was quiet. No military air traffic control units on the tarmac directing planeloads of aid supplies, no bustling command center sending convoys of trucks to hard-hit areas."

  • "I covered Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Haiti earthquake of 2010, among many natural disasters over the course of 30 years in journalism."
  • "Disasters on the scale of Hurricane Maria are usually marked by the inspiring sight of thousands of military and federal emergency personnel flooding into the affected area. Navy ships offshore, dozens of helicopters and cargo planes flying overhead, military convoys heading into affected areas."
  • "Twenty-thousand troops were sent into New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina flooded the city and surrounding areas. Thousands of foreign aid workers rushed into Haiti after the earthquake there leveled Port-Au-Prince, the capital. Within three days of that quake, the U.S. had dispatched some half-dozen ships and 5,500 soldiers and Marines.
  • "In San Juan on Sept. 22, the only sign of relief efforts were beleaguered Puerto Rican government employees struggling to address the multitude of problems confronting the devastated island, while coping with their own losses from the storm."

Go deeper ... Fascinating N.Y. Times photos and gritty reporting, "Enduring a Day of Misery in Puerto Rico's Ruins: 24 Hours of Despair And Determination On a Battered Island."

Go deeper

Updated 58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months — Trump claims COVID "will go away" during debate.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: How to help save 130,000 livesFDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.
1 hour ago - Health

Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump has not attended a White House coronavirus task force meeting in “several months,” NIAID director Anthony Fauci told MSNBC on Friday.

Why it matters: At the beginning of the pandemic, the task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, met every day, but in the "last several weeks," members have held virtual meetings once a week, Fauci said, even as the number of new cases continues to surge in the country.

2 hours ago - Health

How to help save 130,000 lives

People wear face masks outside Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Nearly 130,000 fewer people will die of COVID-19 this winter if 95% of Americans wear face masks in public, according to research published Friday.

Why it matters: “Increasing mask use is one of the best strategies that we have right now to delay the imposition of social distancing mandates," Dr. Christopher Murray of the University of Washington told the N.Y. Times.

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