Samantha Bee got David Duchovny to help her uncover the mystery behind FEMA’s atrocious response to hurricane damage in Puerto Rico, X-Files style. The segment was part of Full Frontal‘s special episode, The Great American* Puerto Rico, about the island’s recovery efforts after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The clip opens with Bee’s Full Frontal staff speaking with Puerto Ricans about the lack of aid and assistance provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. While FEMA has frequently faced criticism for its lackluster disaster response, its efforts in Puerto Rico were especially weak, as Duchovny detailed with Mulder-esque suspicion.
Stringing a ball of yarn across a cork board, Duchovny noted how FEMA’s pre-hurricane aid packages only provided enough food and water for two days, while after the disaster, victims were told to apply for aid by phone or online – even though most of Puerto Rico was without power. FEMA even declared Puerto Rico had too much money to receive disaster loans, even though the country remains in the middle of a massive debt crisis.
With all the pieces falling in to place, Duchovny offered up the only clear explanation for FEMA’s horrendous response in Puerto Rico: “FEMA must be designed to stop us from rebelling against inter-dimensional overlords. Because if it’s just that they didn’t do they’re fucking homework? Well, that’s even more terrifying.”
Elsewhere on the Great American* Puerto Rico episode, Bee and her Full Frontal correspondents covered the vast power outages still plaguing the island, various local recovery efforts and Puerto Rico’s struggle for representation and complicated relationship with the United States.