Trump just doubled down on a lie about Hurricane Maria's death toll

Geneva Stokes
September 14, 2018

The Puerto Rican government recently raised the official death count from the awful storm and aftermath to almost 3,000, but Trump cast doubt on that figure, claiming the Democrats inflated the number to make him look "as bad as possible".

". 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", Trump tweeted. He said the toll was no greater than 18 when he visited the island past year and "did not go up by much".

Two weeks ago, the death toll from September 2017's Hurricane Maria was increased to more than 46 times the previous official government tally.

In a latest fit of fury, Trump successfully enraged millions of Americans by claiming the nearly 3,000 deaths in Puerto Rico after the devastation caused by two back-to-back hurricanes were fake news.

The George Washington University study, requested by the governor of Puerto Rico, examined an unusually long period of time following the storm in an attempt to detect the hurricane's lingering, indirect effects on mortality.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, who is now running for the US Senate, tweeted: "I've been to Puerto Rico 7 times & saw devastation firsthand".

The FEMA report also mentioned what it called collaboration and communication "shortfalls" with Puerto Rican government officials. "That is just what happened".

In January, Cora led a Red Sox delegation to Puerto Rico to distribute aid.

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He was criticised for treating a visit to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the hurricane like a rally, mimicking a basketball player as he threw paper towels to Puerto Rican residents at a local relief centre.

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

"This was the worst natural disaster in our modern history", Rossello said".

Carmen Yulin Cruz, mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, shot back on Twitter, calling Trump's "lack of respect"appalling".

Privately, some White House officials were exasperated with the president's focus on Puerto Rico at a time when Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the Carolinas and other coastal areas.

Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rossello said "now is not the time to pass judgment; it is time to channel every effort to improve the lives of over 3 million Americans in Puerto Rico". The loss of any life is tragic; the extent of lives lost as a result of Maria is heart wrenching.

Then on Tuesday, he hailed the Maria response, saying: 'I actually think it was one of the best jobs that's ever been with respect to what this is all about'. The George Washington University report said the actual number of excess deaths was estimated to be in the range of 2,658 to 3,290. "We are professionals of public health".

"I hate that people make it a political issue", Cora said before Thursday night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

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