Trump rejects Puerto Rico hurricane death toll

13 September, 2018, 19:58 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Photos Reveal Massive Stockpile of Water Left on Tarmac in Puerto Rico for Nearly a Year While Hurricane Maria Victims Suffered

President Donald Trump on Thursday sought to call into question the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, saying the death toll from the summer 2017 storm, which has been revised to almost 3,000 people, was the work of Democrats looking to tarnish his record. He said the number of deaths when he visited Puerto Rico after the storm was "from 6 to 18", even though news outlets were already reporting dozens, if not hundreds, of additional casualties that were likely uncounted.

The mayor of Ceiba, Angel Cruz Ramos, told CNN he's grateful for the generosity, but believes that too much water was delivered at the wrong time.

He went on to claim that Democrats were responsible for the increased death toll as part of a plot to make him look "as bad as possible".

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who is locked in a tight Senate race, also split from Trump.

A report published in May by the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health said up to 4,600 people were killed and an investigation published in December by the Center for Investigative Journalism found the actual death toll exceeded 1,000 people. Soon after he left he island, that estimate was raised to 34. He says the process was "carried out properly".

"Shame on you", Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said Tuesday after Trump's boasts of success. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, whose parents were Puerto Rican immigrants, spoke on the House floor in front of a printout of the Puerto Rican flag, saying Trump is "delusional" and incapable or "empathy or basic human decency".

Trump took to Twitter this week to warn residents in the path of Hurricane Florence to follow the advice of local officials and to be prepared.

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The photos began circulating on social media Tuesday, the same day President Trump again praised the government's response to Maria during a meeting with top DHS and FEMA officials.

"Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!" he tweeted. The George Washington University report said the actual number of excess deaths was estimated to be in the range of 2,658 to 3,290. "That's unusual in the USA after a disaster".

The figure was reached by comparing the total number of deaths reported from September 2017 through February 2018 to typical number of deaths on the island over a six-month period.

"I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success", he had said.

So, how was the count from Puerto Rico actually obtained? "They're very powerful, very well managed in the sense that they have tremendous overcapacity". He further claimed that he "successfully [raised] Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico".

"It's an isolated island that lost its infrastructure and its power for a long time", he added.

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