Trump rejects official Puerto Rico hurricane death toll, blames Democrats

Trump rejects official Puerto Rico hurricane death toll, blames Democrats

As time went by, it did not go up by that much.

As The Washington Post reported on Sept. 29, 2017, the president was initially attentive when Hurricane Maria made landfall on Wednesday, Sept. 20, but not for long: "For four days after that - as storm-ravaged Puerto Rico struggled for food and water amid the darkness of power outages - Trump and his top aides effectively went dark themselves".

A USA government report published this month concluded that the federal response in Puerto Rico was hampered by a lack of trained staff as well as by major logistical challenges.

Trump's fresh anger drew swift rebukes from elected officials and residents of the island, where blackouts remain common, 60,000 homes still have makeshift roofs and 13 percent of municipalities lack stable phone or internet service.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello said in a Facebook post in Spanish, "The victims of Puerto Rico, and the people of Puerto Rico in general, do not deserve to be questioned about their pain".

Scott followed Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., who earlier in the day also said he trusts the official death toll figures.

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The bottom line is, we generally don't know how many people die in large-scale catastrophes when the government - local and/or federal - loses control of the situation on the ground. The midpoint estimate - 2,975 deaths - has been accepted by the government of Puerto Rico as the official death toll.

Apparently, Donald Trump is convinced 3000 Americans losing their lives because of the natural disaster is nothing but a hoax to make him look bad.

The mayor of Puerto Rico's capital accused Trump of being "delusional".

Some Republicans joined the chorus of criticism. "So I have no reason to dispute those numbers".

Trump supporter David Urban tried to defend the president, saying that the president should have said that the government did their best and they intend to do better in the future. The parties are courting Puerto Rican voters who are longtime residents of Florida, as well as those who relocated to the state after Maria caused devastating damage to the US territory last September.

Nelson also weighed in, calling Trump's contention "shameful".

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Some well-known Republicans split with Trump on the issue. That led the cable news coverage that evening. "He sees these facts and sees people blaming him for the 3,000 deaths and I think what he's trying to get across is the fact that, and Ana knows this, Puerto Rico was not in great shape", he argued.

"You have to think of [64 and 3,000] as two different indicators", says Carlos Santos-Burgoa, one of the GWU report's authors and a professor of global health at the school. Harvard's report, which was based on systematic household surveys throughout Puerto Rico, reached a estimate of 4,645 storm-related deaths between September and December 2017, many as a result of "delayed or interrupted health care".

But how can a death toll jump from 64 to almost 3,000?

Additionally, we shouldn't automatically compare the new estimated Maria toll of 2,975 with any other number from any other storm. After the total was revised August 28, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement in which she did not actively dispute the revised figure.

The elderly and impoverished were hardest hit by the hurricane.

He said it was "not helpful" for either the president or one of his chief critics on the administration's response, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, "to be talking about it in a political way".

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Hurricane Maria hit previous year as the Trump administration was feeling positive about the handling of massive hurricanes in Florida and Texas.

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