Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Trump falsely says Democrats inflated Puerto Rico death toll

Trump says Democrats inflated Puerto Rico death toll Ryan: 'No Reason' to Dispute Puerto Rico Death Toll Challenged by Trump
Melinda Barton | 14 September, 2018, 16:11

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". As time went by it did not go up by much.

Rossello said he left the analysis of the deaths in the hands of experts and accepted their estimate as the official death toll.

Cruz maintains the federal government's response to the hurricane was slow and inadequate while Trump said it was a success. "We still - you see the hurricane swarming now [in the Carolinas], and everybody's panicking". When Fox News finally mentioned Trump's statements, Fox reporter Jacqui Heinrich did not read the text of his denials, but instead stated only that Trump was "firing back on Twitter over his response to Puerto Rico, saying that Democrats are trying to make him look bad". He then parroted Trump talking points that the island wasn't in great shape, to begin with, and that it wasn't the federal government's fault they couldn't get resources to people.

With all eyes on Hurricane Florence, a Facebook post is casting fresh doubts on the federal government's response a year ago to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Trump tweeted Thursday morning about how the death toll had been exaggerated.

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.

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico", Trump tweeted, referring to a recent study that significantly expanded the U.S. government's initial assessment that 64 people died when Hurricane Maria battered the island last September.

If the new figures are accurate, Hurricane Maria is the deadliest storm to have hit Puerto Rico since the 1899 San Ciriaco hurricane. I've been to Puerto Rico 7 times & saw devastation firsthand.

President Donald Trump is notorious for making false claims and denying any set of information that makes him look bad - even if it's from his own government.

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.

"We stand by the science underlying our study", the statement said.

Ricardo Rossello, Puerto Rico's governor who aligns with Republicans, said: "It is time to remember all those who lost their lives". Patt Kessler's Reality Check takes us through the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.

He says, "the victims of Puerto Rico, and the people of Puerto Rico in general, do not deserve to be questioned about their pain".