White House defends Trump on Puerto Rico death toll claim

17 September, 2018, 13:44 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • A new tantrum and a new low from President Trump

"Puerto Rico only finished restoring full power last month, 11 months after the hurricane hit", the BBC says.

Trump's comments also reignited a longstanding feud between the San Juan mayor and Trump; the president fired back, calling her "totally incompetent" and saying the US government "did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico". When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths.

This is the first, and only, comprehensive, island-wide representative survey to assess a broad array of impacts from Hurricane Maria and hear directly from the people of Puerto Rico about what they experienced and what the ongoing needs are.

A Harvard University study released in May estimated that more than 4,600 people may have died as a result of the hurricane.

"Casualties don't make a person look bad", House Speaker Paul Ryan said.

"This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico". "So I have no reason to dispute those numbers".

Ron DeSantis, who won last month's GOP primary for governor largely due to Trump's endorsement, "doesn't believe any loss of life has been inflated", a spokesman said.

"As the President said, every death from Hurricane Maria is a horror".


"We do not want to see Hurricane Isaac hit Puerto Rico", he said. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said in one of a series of tweets.

The tweets drew the ire of Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan who has sharply criticized both the president and his administration's response to the storm a year ago that devastated the USA territory.

He also suggested that many had been added later "if a person died for any reason, like old age". The number was later raised to 64, but the government then commissioned an independent study to determine how many died because of post-storm conditions.

"Only Donald Trump would try to make the deaths of almost 3,000 Americans into a story about himself and his political fortunes", he said. The study said the original estimates were so low because doctors on the island had not been trained to properly classify deaths after a natural disaster. But as the hurricane began to dominate news coverage, the administration's response to Hurricane Maria returned as a major storyline and began to infuriate Trump, according to two Republican advisers close to the White House who weren't authorized to speak publicly.

Rossello is a leader of the island's pro-statehood New Progressive Party, which aligns with Republicans, while Cruz is from the Popular Democratic Party, whose members affiliate with the Democratic Party.

"But the President continues to refuse to acknowledge his responsibility, and the problem is that if he didn't acknowledge it in Puerto Rico, God bless the people of SC and the people of North Carolina", Cruz said.

The president also sent two tweets - one featuring a video message - warning people of the danger of Hurricane Florence as it approaches the East Coast, and assuring residents that emergency responders are prepared.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, whose parents were Puerto Rican immigrants, spoke on the House floor in front of a printout of the Puerto Rican flag, saying Trump is "delusional" and incapable or "empathy or basic human decency".

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