Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda on Friday said Puerto Rico was still in emergency mode, with his own family describing dire conditions following Hurricane Fiona.
“It was 112 degrees yesterday. Nearly a week later, my family in Puerto Rico doesn’t have running water or electricity yet,” Miranda told CNBC in an interview at the L’Attitude Conference in San Diego.
The man behind the hits “Hamilton,” “In the Heights” and “Encanto” has been an advocate of the island where he still has family. After Hurricane Maria, the Broadway star helped raise money for the arts by partnering with American Express and bringing “Hamilton” to the island.
Manuel Miranda delivers food to victims of Hurricane Maria at La Placita de Guisin on November 7, 2017 in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico.
Gladys Vega | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
In an Op-Ed in the Washington Post, Miranda said that businesses came forward to help after Hurricane Maria in 2017. Today he’s calling on business and the arts to make direct investments in Puerto Rico as the island struggles to recover from its second major hurricane in just five years, earthquakes and the pandemic.
Miranda, who has been critical of the federal response to Hurricane Maria, said he’s gratified President Joe Biden was taking action but there’s still more to be done.
“The fact that Biden Sunday night signed for an emergency, I mean, already, that’s a world of difference from where we were in the previous administration where there were just mistruths about how much money is going to the island, being spouted by the president,” Miranda said.
A member of the Puerto Rico National Guard wades through water in search for people to be rescued from flooded streets in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona in Salinas, Puerto Rico September 19, 2022.
Ricardo Arduengo | Reuters
Miranda said the funds he helped raise for the Hispanic Federation have paid for infrastructure improvements that helped some facilities. For instance, solar panels at some medical centers helped keep the power on in Fiona’s aftermath, when so much of the island lost electricity.
“I think it just doubles down on the need to build a more resilient vehicle that can withstand and adapt to climate emergencies,” Miranda said.