Trump rejects Puerto Rico hurricane death toll, blames Dems

14 September, 2018, 14:58 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Alex Wong  Getty Images

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Thursday to lambast an official report on Puerto Rico following Hurricanes Irma and Maria previous year, accusing Democrats of inflating the number of deaths. But that toll should have at least another 1,000 added to it because that's the number of people who died due to debris exposure. "When I left the island after the storm had hit, they had anywhere from six to 18 deaths".

"As time went by it did not go up by much", Trump wrote. They then compared this baseline to the actual number of deaths, and voila!

While Trump battles the media over his response to Maria, FEMA is briefing Americans on what to expect from Hurricane Florence. Wednesday, Trump called her "totally incompetent" when he tweeted another defense of how the emergency was managed.

On "Outnumbered" on Thursday, Melissa Francis said she doesn't understand why Trump weighed in on the matter, calling it "incredibly distasteful" to debate Maria's death toll as another deadly hurricane bears down. An outraged CNN contributor noted that some Maria victims died because they couldn't get to hospitals "because the roads were closed".

Dr. Carlos Santos-Burgoa - the lead researcher on the study and a well-known expert in global health, particularly Latin America - told the AP that the initial figure of 64 deaths reflected only people whose death certificates cited the storm.

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The agency said it also stopped distributing water at that time because "commerce was coming back" to Puerto Rico and officials "didn't want to injure the economy more than it already was". It's because better information has been gathered than was available in the chaotic days after Hurricane Maria hit - and, sadly, because more people died as a result of the devastating damage to the island's infrastructure.

Trump tweeted Thursday morning about how the death toll had been exaggerated. "My only consideration was the well-being of the Puerto Rican people".

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a Democrat who tangled with the president over and over while Hurricane Maria made worldwide news, fired back at him on Thursday.

Meyers began by mocking Trump's latest efforts to "convince people that he's competent" but quickly took aim at the "deranged" president for his tweet casting doubt on the official death toll out of Puerto Rico. It took more than 11 months, for example, to fully restore electricity.

"I just wanna state that not only is this a sickening tweet, it is in no way true", Colbert said. A US territory since 1898, Puerto Rico's inhabitants are citizens, though they can not vote in presidential elections and have only one congressional representative with limited voting powers.

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