Dems go after Trump for disputing PR death toll

Hugh Fox
September 14, 2018

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Thursday to lambast an official report on Puerto Rico following Hurricanes Irma and Maria past year, accusing Democrats of inflating the number of deaths.

President Donald Trump has been "overly criticized" for his response to the deadly storm that struck Puerto Rico previous year, but neither the president nor his critics should be politicizing the tragedy, Rep. Chris Stewart said. He said the toll was no greater than 18 when he visited the island a year ago and "did not go up by much".

Trump disputed the death toll in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, denying that 3,000 people died on the island.

The report was commissioned by the Puerto Rican government and compiled by researchers with the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University.

Cora, who was born in Puerto Rico, took issue with those comments. One thing's for sure, and I told (the media) before, one thing I'm proud, we're standing up on our own two feet. Puerto Rico upped its official estimate to 1,427 in a July draft report.

Trump then blamed Democrats for the figures, "to make me look as bad as possible". "That is just what happened".

President Trump disputes widely accepted Puerto Rico hurricane death toll, blames Democrats
He called on the governor of Puerto Rico Ricardo Rossello to launch an official independent investigation into the incident. People online were aghast that the president would somehow blame Democrats for an accurate death toll being reported.

Almost four months after Maria hit land, Garcia's mother, Aida, got sick and went to a central Puerto Rico hospital.

The study concluded the initial death toll of 64 only included those killed directly by hurricanes Maria and Irma - either by drowning, flying debris or building collapse.

A study commissioned by the Puerto Rican government said the number was nearly 3,000 people, something Trump shot down on Twitter.

Navarro said Thursday that that was because the president's tweets were politically damaging for those associated with him.

Trump's tweets - which came as a highly unsafe Hurricane Florence churned toward the Carolinas - brought an immediate rebuke from Democrats in Congress.

Since the 2017 hurricane, Franzen has been back to Puerto Rico five times - mostly recently earlier this week, where she saw long lines for drinking water at a store. He said the work the Federal Emergency Management Agency and "law enforcement and everybody did working along with the governor in Puerto Rico - I think was tremendous".

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And FEMA Administrator Brock Long has said FEMA made changes to some of its priorities and procedures.

Carmen Yulin Cruz: The mayor of San Juan responded with a tweetstorm, and one captures the theme: "This is what denial following neglect looks like: Mr Pres in the real world people died on your watch".

He added in a tweet: "The loss of any life is tragic; the extent of lives lost as a result of Maria is heart wrenching".

Ryan didn't answer a question about whether Trump's claim disturbed him or whether Trump should apologize to the victims' families.

"I hate talking about politics and all that, but I think this is more than politics".

Hurricane Florence expected to make landfall on North Carolina on Thursday
Florida-based Carnival Cruise Line was re-routing its cruise ships, but there were other hurricanes to contend with. People rushed to get emergency kits ready, map out escape routes and fill sandbags and secure their homes.

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