Trump falsely says Democrats inflated Puerto Rico death toll

Trump falsely says Democrats inflated Puerto Rico death toll

Trump falsely says Democrats inflated Puerto Rico death toll

With both parties in Florida looking to draw support from Puerto Rican voters in the November elections and as Hurricane Florence barreled down on the Carolinas, Trump doubled down in a series of tweets Thursday after facing criticism for contending Wednesday the federal government "did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico" after Maria.

He added, "This was a devastating storm that hit an isolated island, and that's really no one's fault".

He wrote, "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".

- President Donald Trump received bipartisan pushback Thursday from Florida politicians after he tweeted that the estimated death count in Puerto Rico from last year's Hurricane Maria has been dramatically inflated by Democrats. Also, 13 percent of municipalities lack stable phone or internet service.

The previous official death toll was 64. "By now we have over four studies that put the death total over the thousands", Dr. Domingo J. Marqués, associate professor of clinical psychology and director of the dialectical behavioral research and therapy program at Albizu University in San Juan, said via email. The death toll in Puerto Rico had been officially recorded as 64 for almost a year, despite convincing evidence that the figure was too low because official death certificates had failed to take into account the long-range impacts of the storm.

Echoing Cruz's condemnation of Trump's tweets, Democratic lawmakers also expressed outrage that the president would attempt to downplay the number of people who died as a result of a natural disaster and U.S. government neglect.

"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", the statement read. "So I have no reason to dispute those numbers". "It was just such a powerful storm", the congressman said, adding that he believes Trump "has been, I think, overly criticized for his response".

The study found that those deaths could be attributed directly or indirectly to Maria from the time it struck in September 2017 to mid-February of this year.

Trump began to focus on Hurricane Florence earlier this week, calling for an Oval Office briefing with the FEMA director to warn about the threat.

Democratic commentator Kirsten Powers agreed, noting that Trump knows his base isn't watching CNN for news. That led the cable news coverage that evening. He also trafficked in racist stereotypes about lazy Latinos by suggesting that people in Puerto Rico "want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort". "You know, we've got food, shelter, health and medical, power and fuel, communications, transportation, hazardous waste", he told reporters on a conference call on Hurricane Lane preparations last month.

Estimates of direct deaths in a hurricane typically include those caused by drowning in a storm surge or another event that occurs while the storm is taking place. "We are confident that the number - 2,975 - is the most accurate and unbiased estimate of excess mortality to date". Cruz maintains the federal government's response was slow and inadequate. After the total was revised August 28, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement in which she did not actively dispute the revised figure. He said officials at all levels of government in Puerto Rico also shared responsibility.

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