Trump called Hurricane Maria response an "incredible unsung success" | Lexington Herald Leader

Pauline Gross
September 13, 2018

The Trump administration has been intensely criticized for its response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. I think probably the hardest one we had by far was Puerto Rico because of the island nature", Trump said, adding, "Puerto Rico got hit not with one hurricane but with two.

Calling it "one of the best jobs that's ever been done with respect to what this is all about", Trump is ignoring what was, in fact, a awful response that cost more lives than what the storm death toll originally claimed.

The President's refusal to ever admit a mistake and to hype his own perceived achievements struck a jarring note, even as he tried to project a smoother response to the potentially historic hurricane bearing down on the Carolinas.

In response to the president's comments, Rossello issued a statement Tuesday on "the worst natural disaster in our modern history". "I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success", he had said.

President Donald Trump on Thursday rejected the widely accepted conclusion that almost 3,000 died in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria, arguing without evidence that the number was wrong and calling it a plot by Democrats to make him look bad. Other, independent estimates place the number at 1,270 and 5,740, with financial damages from the storm exceeding $100 billion in damage and some rural residents still lacking power.

But a report from the Government Accountability Office said FEMA was so overwhelmed with storms a year ago that when Maria hit it was unable to respond properly, noting that more than half of its disaster workers were not qualified for the jobs they were doing.

Donald Trump has falsely claimed that 3,000 people did not die in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria, and said the number was made up by the Democratic party "to make me look as bad as possible".

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The mayor of San Juan, the capital of the U.S. commonwealth of more than three million people, was outraged.

"Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!" he tweeted.

"The safety of American people is my absolute highest priority", Trump said. "We are totally prepared".

Florence is nearing the Carolina coast with powerful winds and drenching rain.

Connolly's state is in the path of the storm, and coastal residents in North Carolina and SC have also been told to seek safer ground away from flooding.

The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland have all declared a state of emergency, along with the mayor of Washington, D.C.

Other reports by GizPress

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