Trump disputes Hurricane Maria death toll in Puerto Rico

James Marshall
September 14, 2018

Trump then added that the high death toll was a result of Democrats trying to make him look bad.

But the San Juan mayor Trump attacked, Carmen Yulin Cruz, told CNN the president's words added "insult to injury". He joined team president Sam Kennedy and players Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and Christian Vazquez to hand out medical supplies, water filtration systems and food and water.

A study commissioned by the Puerto Rican government said the number was nearly 3,000 people, something Trump shot down on Twitter. I know probably he doesn't feel that way. He declined to comment even after reporters described what Trump wrote. But Trump hasn't been able to let the matter go.

Hostin blamed the Jones Act, saying it allowed the USA government to "pillage and rape" the island since its inception in 1920, before asking why Trump didn't have an equal reaction to Maria as President Obama did to Haiti, which isn't even a US territory. When pressed on the tweets, Cornyn grew frustrated.

Carlson accused Avenatti of using "reckless rhetoric on a subject you don't really understand", to which Avenatti responded, "I stand by my words, and I think for you to lecture me about reckless rhetoric is rather ironic, Tucker, in light of some of the reckless rhetoric you engage in each and every day on this show".

Some appeared to be working to calm the president down.

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 just what happened".

The emergency response to Maria became highly politicized as the Trump administration was criticised as being slow to recognise the extent of the devastation and too sluggish in providing disaster relief to Puerto Rico, an island of more than 3 million residents. He said he wants to find out more about what the numbers are, and thinks Congress should look into it.

Earlier this month, the governor of Puerto Rico raised the death toll to 2,975 from 64 following a study conducted by researchers from the Milken Institute at George Washington University at the government's request.

The report said numerous deaths occurred weeks later because of devastating damage to the Caribbean island's electrical grid that curbed treatment for those with life-threatening injuries or medical conditions. The study was based on a statistical model that subtracted the number of people who, in theory, should have died over the same time period as Hurricane Maria from the number of people who actually died during that time.

Trump, in a follow up Tweet on Thursday, blamed Democrats for the number, saying it was increased "in order to make me look as bad as possible".

Rarest of all was direct criticism. YOUR LACK OF RESPECT IS APPALLING!' she tweeted. Puerto Rico is still struggling to recover. We don't need a book.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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