Trump Rejects Puerto Rico Hurricane Death Toll Report

Cheryl Sanders
September 14, 2018

US President Donald Trump has disputed Puerto Rico's official death toll of 3,000 from last year's Hurricane Maria and accused Democrats, without providing evidence, of inflating the figures to make him look bad.

Trump tweeted the estimated death toll, provided by the Puerto Rican governor's office and based on the findings of an independent study, erroneously counted deaths from old age in the number of clear casualties of the hurricane. "Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000", he wrote.

President Trump is defending his administration's response to the devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico previous year, disputing new findings that Hurricane Maria killed far more people than initially believed.

A recent federal report found that almost 3,000 people died in Maria's wake in Puerto Rico, with damages estimated at about $100 billion.

Trump tweeted Thursday morning about how the death toll had been exaggerated.

Gutierrez conceded that "the massive power of the storm was compounded by decades of neglect from Washington", which he said "didn't happen overnight and didn't happen on President Trump's watch".

As the United States braces itself for Hurricane Florence, it seems Trump is still determined to make people believe he did a great job during Hurricane Maria.

Trump visited the island on October 3, when the death toll was listed at 16, and he congratulated the island on avoiding "a real catastrophe like Katrina". "Ron DeSantis is committed to standing with the Puerto Rican community, especially after a tragic loss of life". The one thing for sure, the Red Sox helped, [so did] the Cubs, the Pirates, the Houston Astros, there's a lot of people in the States that are still helping us.

He added: "I've been to Puerto Rico 7 times & saw devastation firsthand".

Are these the worst tweets to have ever been tweeted by Trump... so far? And the the federal government's relief effort was riddled with demonstrable failures: Despite receiving advance warning of the hurricane's likely landfall in Puerto Rico, the administration neglected to deploy satellite phones, generators, and reserves of food, fuel, and water in advance of the storm.

Trump has previously said his administration's handling of the storms was "an incredible unsung success".

Today's topic? Trump's solipsistic comment on the Puerto Rican fatalities that came as a result of two Hurricanes that hit the U.S. Territory a year ago.

President Donald Trump is notorious for making false claims and denying any set of information that makes him look bad - even if it's from his own government. It's kind of like he was on trial for littering and said on the stand, 'I only threw my cup out of that window because I was distracted by the homeless man I ran over.

Half of Puerto Ricans surveyed in a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll poll said they couldn't get enough water during the storm and were concerned about water quality.

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