Falsehood Behind the State Epidemiologist in Charge of the Response to the Coronavirus

State Epidemiologist Carmen Deseda, responsible to advise and inform citizens on how to fight the coronavirus pandemic in Puerto Rico, has no formal academic training as an epidemiologist, but instead took a course that accredits her as an Epidemiology Officer, the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish) found. According to her curriculum vitae, Deseda has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico and an MD in Medicine from the Universidad Central del Caribe in Puerto Rico. In 1980, she participated in a field epidemiology training at the Epidemiology Intelligence Service Unit at the Atlanta headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She has no master’s degree or PhD in epidemiology. Her field training in epidemiology was offered by the CDC, which is not an academic institution, and is offered to coach doctors who will practice as “State Epidemiologists.”

Deseda was appointed State Epidemiologist in 1994 by ex-Governor Pedro Rosselló-González.

Public Schools in Puerto Rico with No Resources to Comply with Vocational Evaluations for students with Special Needs

Reinalice Carrero-Guerra, a 23-year-old with Down Syndrome, is one of the thousands of special education students who never received a vocational and career evaluation from the Department of Education, despite there being a law in place for 13 years now that requires conducting such assessment. She neither received help from the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration (ARV in Spanish), an agency ascribed to the Department of Labor and Human Resources (DTRH in Spanish) that is supposed to guide citizens with functional diversity into the workforce. Her mother Alice Guerra said she unsuccessfully requested services after her daughter graduated from high school at 18.  

“They interviewed her many times. The person assigned to the case was never there, and I was redirected to anyone else who was available.