Trump Falsely Claims 3000 Puerto Ricans Did Not Die After Hurricane Maria

Pauline Gross
September 15, 2018

Trump will travel to the region early to middle of next week and the trip will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts, according to Sanders.

"Puerto Rico was incredibly successful", Trump said on Tuesday, adding that the island was fraught with issues prior to the hurricane.

He accused Democrats of inflating the official death toll to "make me look as bad as possible". In Washington, senior Republicans distanced themselves from the president's remarks.

"Casualties don't make a person look bad", House Speaker Paul Ryan said, breaking with the president. "So I have no reason to dispute those numbers".

Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority leader, said Trump owed an apology to the 3,000 families for "the shameful attack on deceased fellow Americans".

Especially upset were GOP politicians in Florida, a state with a substantial Puerto Rican population.

He added: "I've been to Puerto Rico 7 times & saw devastation firsthand. The loss of any life is tragic". "If you've seen Trump Tower, I'm pretty sure blind people decorated it", Colbert said.

The White House defended the president on Thursday.

Death figures were estimated by looking at mortality between September 2017 and February 2018, as well as modelling data for population trends, emigration and displacement.

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico", Trump wrote.

In the tweet, Trump quoted Rivera saying, "They say all these people died in the storm in Puerto Rico, yet 70 per cent of the power was out before the storm".

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The study from GWU says several factors led to deaths being reported long after the storm had hit.

The deaths fell in two categories: direct and indirect.

"When I left the Island, after the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths", Trump tweeted.

"The official death toll from last year's storm stood at 64 until late August, although doubts had been cast on that estimate".

Trump continued to enrage his critics in a series of tweets on Friday night, casting doubt on an academic study that calculated almost 3,000 deaths in the months following Maria. "This study, commissioned by the Government of Puerto Rico, was carried out with complete independence and freedom from any kind of interference".

However, the Harvard researchers pointed out they were not giving a precise figure, and that there was an element of uncertainty in their estimates. And it's been there for six months.

"We know a lot of people that right now are still suffering". We are committed to the health of the population.

"I thought you all wanted to talk about the Kavanaugh nomination", he said.

On Wednesday, Puerto Rican officials said about 20,000 pallets of water bottles shipped to Puerto Rico after Maria went unused and became too contaminated to drink. Puerto Ricans are a key potential voting bloc in Florida's closely contested elections. It takes us away from covering the people actually affected by his policies.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello also has criticized Trump for not providing additional federal funds still needed for emergency housing and debris removal.

His comments run counter to how many locals and experts have assessed the federal government's response.

Other reports by GizPress

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