Monday, 24 September, 2018

Trump rejects Puerto Rico hurricane death toll

Donald Trump says Hurricane Maria’s Puerto Rico death toll is a ploy to make him “look bad” President Donald Trump speaks during a Congressional Medal of Honor Society reception in the East Room of the White House. Susan Walsh AP
| 14 September, 2018, 18:16

As Hurricane Florence bears down on the US, President Trump was blasted online after he said that the death count for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico past year was raised by Democrats to make him look bad.

"Those are just the facts of what happens when a disgusting hurricane hits an isolated place like an island", Ryan said when asked about Trump's tweet.

The report came almost a year after a much-maligned visit to Puerto Rico by Trump two weeks after Maria, where he implied that residents should be "proud" that the official death toll at the time was just 16 people, far lower than that of a "real catastrophe, like Katrina".

"Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers like 3,000", Trump wrote.

"What is offensive to many of us is that even though the president dropped the ball, he is now doing a victory dance in the end zone".

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

There is no evidence to back up Trump's tweets that politics played a role in calculating the death toll and the White House has not commented on the message from the President.

Mr Gutierrez, who is of Puerto Rican heritage, was involved in the United States territory's recovery operation.

Brock Long, the head of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), warned that Florence could "kill a lot of people".

Hurricane Florence began battering North Carolina on Thursday night, beginning an onslaught that will provide the Federal Emergency Management Agency a chance to fix its bruised reputation following the federal response to Hurricane Maria.

"The US government's response in Puerto Rico fell far, and tragically, short".


San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz fired off several tweets targeting Trump after Trump said "3,000 people did not die" and called the death count a move by Democrats to make him look bad.

Stewart was being interviewed Wednesday about Trump's earlier statements that his administration's handling of the hurricane that hit the USA territory was "an incredible, unsung success" and "one of the best jobs that's ever been done".

Former Vice President Joe Biden mocked Trump's baseless claim, and the study's authors stood by their work, calling it "the most accurate and unbiased estimate of excess mortality to date".

Hurricane Maria and Irma hit Puerto Rico a year ago and knocked out power in the USA territory for months.

With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the Carolinas, Donald Trump posted a Twitter video in which he both claiming to have everything in hand and warned of catastrophe.

George Washington University found thousands more people died on the island after Maria than deaths in previous years.

The president argued the report puts the death tolls of 3,000 was done by Democrats to make him look bad.

"I don't think that's fair", said Huntsman, who added she also didn't think it was fair to compare Trump's action's to those of a dictator, something that was mentioned on the previous day's show.

In January, Cora led a Red Sox delegation to Puerto Rico to distribute aid.

"I disagree with @POTUS", Scott tweeted.

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