Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Trump disputes Puerto Rico storm death toll, draws outcry

President Trump speaks to members of the media following a briefing on Hurricane Florence in the Oval Office on Tuesday President Trump speaks to members of the media following a briefing on Hurricane Florence in the Oval Office on Tuesday
Kenny Thornton | 15 September, 2018, 17:29

On September 13, President Trump tweeted: '3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. "Now we know why he's so orange, his brain is just melted pumpkin guts".

Rick Scott: Florida's Republican governor tweeted that he disagreed with Trump. It was initially said to have killed just 64 people.

Trump's tweets are not only disrespectful to the lives lost in Puerto Rico; they also assert a well-known trait of the president: no matter the tragedy, everything is always about him.

MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace unleashed fury on President Donald Trump on Thursday for claiming that the almost 3,000-person death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico was an inflated number promoted by Democrats. And it is also true that 3,000 USA citizens did not die "in" the hurricane - in the sense of being killed by storm surge or high winds.

It found that 2,975 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria.

Trump will travel to the region early to middle of next week and the trip will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts, according to Sanders. On Wednesday he posted a video on his account stating that "we are ready" although "bad things can happen when you're talking about a storm this size".

Last month, Puerto Rican officials commissioned an independent study that declared an increased death toll to 2,975. "I don't know how they arrived at the information".

"It's kinda like he was on trial for littering, and he said on the stand, 'I only threw that cup out of my window because I was distracted by the homeless man I ran over. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!" he wrote.

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Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette, who has been representing Colorado in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1997, visited Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria-and she has asserted that the destruction she saw was by no means fake news. Salon notes that nobody corrected him by pointing out that Puerto Rico is a territory of the US.

On The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, the South African comedian said, "You see what the president doesn't seem to understand is that the effects of a hurricane last long after the storm has already passed, like the people on the Titanic, who froze in the water still died because of the crash".

"Puerto Rico was incredibly successful", Trump said on Tuesday, adding that the island was fraught with issues prior to the hurricane.

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico".

FEMA, the agency in charge of coordinating the federal response to Florence, was criticized a year ago for its handling of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

At the same time, the top Republican in Congress, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, said he had no reason to dispute the official death toll, while Republican Senator Marco Rubio said tragedy should not be politicised.

"That is the official death toll. and yet our deranged president doesn't believe it", he said.

Puerto Rico's government is run by the New Progressive party, a pro-statehood, Puerto Rico-only party.

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