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As Florence Turns Deadly, Trump Tweets Geraldo On Puerto Rico Toll

15 September 2018, 09:42 | Devin Moran

Rob Tringali Sportschrome Getty Images

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President Donald Trump is rejecting the official death count from Hurricane Maria and falsely accusing Democrats of inflating the Puerto Rican toll from the storm previous year to make him "look as bad as possible".

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.

"I was there a long time, there was a transformer fire and the power went out, when they started dying then?"

"I hate that people are making it a political issue".

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.

He accused Democrats of inflating the official death toll to "make me look as bad as possible".

One frequent tactic is claiming ignorance: "I haven't read it yet", said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Trump's tweet as he walked away from reporters. That study - conducted by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University - estimated 2,975 deaths.

The death toll from Maria, the most powerful storm to hit there in nearly a century, was raised last month from 64, a number widely discounted as far too low, to 2,975. "But I don't agree with a lot of stuff that he says about us".




"They hired ... GWU Research to tell them how many people had died in Puerto Rico (how would they not know this?)". But I think this is more than politics. While FEMA is blaming the Puerto Rico government for dropping the ball, a Puerto Rican official claimed that distributing the water to Maria's victims was FEMA's responsibility.

Almost 3,000 people died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Today I was supposed to write about how children in Puerto Rico are still struggling to overcome the trauma of Hurricane Maria, their lives completely changed by the loved ones they lost and the destruction they faced in the aftermath of the storm.

In December 2017-three months after Hurricane Maria devasted Puerto Rico-Puerto Rican officials reported that 64 people had died on the island as a result of Maria.

A report released this summer by the Federal Emergency Management Agency identified deficiencies in the administration's response, including that the agency was not adequately staffed heading into the hurricane season. George Washington University said in a statement Thursday that it stood by the report.

Trump's comments came as Hurricane Florence, a potentially catastrophic storm, headed for the Carolina coast.

"Mr. President- I'd very much be willing to walk you through the scientific process of the study and how [George Washington University] arrived at the excess mortality number estimate", Rosselló replied to Trump's tweet.



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