Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Donald Trump claims '3,000 people did not die' in Puerto Rico hurricane

Donald Trump claims '3,000 people did not die' in Puerto Rico hurricane

Thursday morning on Twitter, he disputed that 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria one year ago. She noted that some 12,000 personnel were sent to Puerto Rico for response and recovery efforts, and said the federal government would continue to support the island's recovery for years to come. Full power was restored in Puerto Rico following last year's storm only last month.

"All the experts agree that the number of 64 is not real", he said, referencing the Puerto Rican government's official hurricane death count before the GWU study.

Echoing Cruz's condemnation of Trump's tweets, Democratic lawmakers also expressed outrage that the president would attempt to downplay the number of people who died as a result of a natural disaster and United States government neglect. As time went by, it did not go up by that much.

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2018.This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico.

George Washington University's Milken Institute of Public Health, working with the University of Puerto Rico, conducted a study of "excess mortality" in the aftermath of Maria: i.e., the number of people who actually died beyond the number that would normally have been expected to die in that period.

The Puerto Rican government officially accepted the hurricane death toll at 2,675, but President Trump calls the number phony.

The Wisconsin Republican says he has "no reason to dispute" a study that found almost 3,000 people on the island died from Hurricane Maria past year. The U.S. Government Accountability Office subsequently found numerous failures on the part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, including a lack of trained personnel, equipment and supplies in Puerto Rico.

Tapper argued that because Trump is attacking the number and the media is now using it as an official death toll, chances are, Trump's own supporters aren't going to believe it.

He said it was "not helpful" for either the president or one of his chief critics on the administration's response, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, "to be talking about it in a political way". "We see it that way".

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Trump supporter David Urban tried to defend the president, saying that the president should have said that the government did their best and they intend to do better in the future.

"I disagree" with President Trump, Scott tweeted, "an independent study said thousands were lost and Gov. Rosselló agreed".

And, somehow, he played the politics card by blaming Democrats for the count, unbelievably making the deaths of 3,000 Americans a partisan issue. The parties are courting Puerto Rican voters who are longtime residents of Florida, as well as those who relocated to the state after Maria caused devastating damage to the USA territory last September.

Politicizing tragedy isn't something new, but Trump is taking us to darker place with statements like he's made this week, as his focus seemingly remains squarely on himself and his image.

But Trump, that official said, was unwilling to admit even internally that more needed to be done on the island.

Trump, who has struggled to express public empathy at times of national crises, sparked outrage during his post-Maria visit when he feuded with San Juan mayor and passed out paper towels to victims like he was shooting baskets.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a veteran Republican congresswoman from Florida, said Trump "has a warped mind that would turn this statistic into fake news".

"The aftereffects, people don't talk about that", he said.

In January, Cora led a Red Sox delegation to Puerto Rico to distribute aid.

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