Monday, 19 November, 2018

Trump disputes Puerto Rico storm death toll, draws outcry

The Memo Trump raises political stakes as hurricane looms Getty Images
Jeannette Daniel | 16 September, 2018, 01:31

When he visited Puerto Rico a few days after the storm, Trump declared that, because of the low initial death toll - which included only deaths caused directly by the storm - Maria wasn't a "real catastrophe" like Hurricane Katrina, which killed 1,833 people.

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico", Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

Last month, Hurricane Maria's death toll was found to be much higher than that of Katrina.

"They hired GWU Research to tell them how many people had died in Puerto Rico (how would they not know this?)", Trump wrote.

As of time of writing, five deaths in North Carolina are being attributed to Hurricane Florence.

"When I left the Island, after the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths", Trump tweeted.

The president is "expected to travel to areas affected by the storm early to middle of next week, once it is determined his travel will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts", Sanders said.

"Although you don't believe it... nearly a million boxes of water that were never delivered to the villages", posted Abdiel Santana, a photographer working for a Puerto Rican state police agency who took the pictures.

More news: Space Station astronaut captures mammoth Hurricane Florence from directly above

A month after the hurricanes, in October of previous year, Congress approved at $36.5 billion disaster relief package, which included money for Puerto Rico.

One year ago, FOX61 interviewed three sisters who were in tears after they finally got a phone call from their mother in Puerto Rico after not hearing from her for weeks after the hurricane ripped through their neighborhood.

Also in December, Gov. Rossello asked the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University to conduct a study into how many people were killed by Hurricane Maria.

Researchers, if not Trump, have blamed Maria and aftermath for almost 3K deaths that followed in Puerto Rico.

"I think if you haven't lost someone in Puerto Rico, if you're just an American citizen, if you're just a human and have any empathy for anyone else, you should feel that this is grotesque", she said.

As Hurricane Florence continued its destructive path in North and SC on Friday, President Donald Trump has reportedly been fixated on unflattering news reports about his response to Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico in September 2017. He's the president of the United States but I don't agree with a lot of stuff he says about us, ' he said. "I would never intentionally run a program incorrectly", Long said at a FEMA meeting Thursday regarding the probe, per Politico. "So I have no reason to dispute those numbers". "President Trump was responding to the liberal media and the San Juan Mayor who sadly, have tried to exploit the devastation by pushing out a constant stream of misinformation and false accusations".

Trump touted the federal government's response as "an incredible, unsung success" this week. He has since sought to minimise the death toll.

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