Earlier Thursday, the White House sent a fact sheet to reporters touting the administration's "historic recovery effort" and "significant progress" over the year since Maria's landfall.
"We're Americans, we deserve better", Mercado said.
One year after Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, the island's governor blamed United States "colonialism" for delays in receiving aid and the weak emergency response to the disaster that left almost 3,000 people dead.
Maria devastated the USA commonwealth, and Rossello has said the island's government initially underestimated the death toll, putting it at 64.
And yet, aside from Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel's advocacy for the island (though, fierce), the FCC has done very little to aid or draw awareness to the slow recovery in Puerto Rico - particularly for the disconnected reality that still exists for many Puertoriqueños.More news: Trump Attacks Kavanaugh Accuser By Name Amid Negotiations For Hearing
The Federal Emergency Management Agency "failed miserably, we need to call it what it is", said Jose Calderon, president of the Hispanic Federation, at the event that one participant called "the largest Capitol Hill gathering of experts" since the storm struck Puerto Rico.
He said the exhibition walks a fine line, with some paintings showing handsome landscapes alongside trailers set up by Puerto Rico's forensics institute as part of the effort to try to identify the bodies of those who perished in the storm.
The storm knocked out power and communications to virtually all of Puerto Rico's 3.2 million residents, while destroying the homes of thousands. Since the storm, that has shot up to 98 percent, she said.
"I went into depression, the whole year I've been under depression", she said.
"Leadership also recognized that emergency managers at all levels could have better leveraged existing information to proactively plan for and address such challenges, both before and immediately after the hurricanes", it said.More news: Google expanding Emergency Location Services to the U.S.
"To see the island of enchantment was a deep and painful experience", he said. But the "real environmental crisis" the island faces is in the future, he said, as climate change is likely to produce hurricanes that will only increase in intensity. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list.
The island only recently achieved 100-percent restoration of power after many residents went nearly a year without. She and other residents from Yabucoa, a coastal municipality, had to rebuild their homes.
He compared the sluggish response past year to the quick federal responses in Texas and Florida, states hit weeks earlier by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, as well as the federal response to 2005's Hurricane Katrina in the US Gulf of Mexico.
It has been a long year for Frances Torres and her two children.
He says rebuilding homes has been the primary focus.More news: Fire tornado sucks hose into the air
Governor Rossello ordered flags be lowered to half-staff across the territory and spoke about the resilience of Puerto Ricans as they push-on and rebuild.