Various social media users have expressed frustration at the full coverage of the royal funeral as Puerto Rico battles another hurricane.
Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral was held at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday following her death on September 8. The event was estimated to have around 2,000 guests, including 500 world leaders, according to CNBC. Coverage of the event was huge across the board, with some experts estimating that up to four billion people could tune in to watch the proceedings. By any estimate, the funeral is widely expected to be one of the most watched events in history.
Meanwhile, the US territory of Puerto Rico suffered a total loss of power on Sunday when the newly upgraded Hurricane Fiona made landfall. Nearly 1.5 million people have been left without power in a grim echo of the devastation left by Hurricane Maria, nearly five years to the day since that historic storm made landfall. Since Monday, the storm has also begun to affect the Dominican Republic.
In response to the comprehensive coverage of the royal funeral, some online expressed frustration at the relative lack of time spent covering Puerto Rico’s issues. Political strategist Ana Navarro lamented the disparity, while offering her condolences to the royal family.
“My friends, I respect the queen as much as the next person,” Navarro tweeted. “I offer my condolences to the Brits and all who loved her. But can I have any news and pictures of Fiona’s effects in Puerto Rico? For those who need a reminder, they are citizens Americans in distress.”
Another user, Kavita N. Ramdas, pointed out the disparity in response to an ABC News tweet focused on the late Queen’s pet dogs.
“[ABC News] did you know the people of #PuertoRico are dealing with a huge natural disaster right now while the vast majority of your coverage is about #queens and #corgis?!” Ramdas tweeted.
New York journalist Steve Kastenbaum also noted the disproportionate coverage of the Queen’s corgis, especially given the extensive damage done to Puerto Rico’s electrical grid and water supply.
The Queen’s Corgis are attracting more attention than the devastating impact of Hurricane Fiona on Puerto Rico and now the Dominican Republic. As much as 30 inches of rain fell in parts of PR, knocking out the entire power grid and drinking water for much of the island.
“Excuse me news channels, but Hurricane Fiona hit the Dominican Republic and left all of Puerto Rico without power,” tweeted another user, going by the name of Nikki. “I’d rather hear about what’s going on there than attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.”
LUMA Energy, the company that provides electricity to all Puerto Ricans, estimated on Sunday that restoring the power grid would take “several days”. Government officials in the territory have assured residents that despite the widespread problems, the impact of Hurricane Fiona will not be a repeat of Maria.
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