Trump claims Hurricane Maria death toll in Puerto Rico rose 'like magic'

President Trump speaks to members of the media following a briefing on Hurricane Florence in the Oval Office on Tuesday

President Trump speaks to members of the media following a briefing on Hurricane Florence in the Oval Office on Tuesday

As the death toll in Hurricane Florence climbed to five, President Donald Trump squeezed out another tweet insisting the number of deaths attributed to Hurricane Maria in a government funded study is horseradish served up by Democrats and journalists to attack him.

The number of almost 3,000 was released last month after an independent study by the George Washington University (GWU) in July, which was commissioned by the governor of Puerto Rico.

"During our broader study, we found that many physicians were not oriented in the appropriate certification protocol", according to the report from the researchers at GWU.

In a pair of tweets late Friday, Trump first quoted a Washington Post story, which recounted that he had been told only 16 people had died in the storm when he visited the island last September, shortly after Maria made landfall.

There are also no state or federal guidelines in the U.S. for calculating storm or hurricane-related deaths.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello told CBS New York on Thursday that the government had sought the study and "tried to make this process a completely independent process".

As the storm lashed North and South Carolina Friday as a hurricane, FEMA officials warned of the storm's menacing rain. But Trump, whose efforts to help the island territory recover have been persistently criticized, has repeatedly questioned that number over the last couple of days.

"Some extra people will have died of old age earlier than they would have if there'd been no hurricane". It's kind of like he was on trial for littering and said on the stand, 'I only threw my cup out of that window because I was distracted by the homeless man I ran over. They also accounted for displacement after the disaster.

"I hate talking about politics and all that, but I think this is more than politics".

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico".

Lee blamed Trump for what she and the others called an inadequate response to Maria and said his administration's response to that storm "is more than insensitive; it is incompetent".

'He's been tweeting a lot about what a great job he did responding to Hurricane Maria, that decimated Puerto Rico a year ago, ' Colbert said.

Ahead of Florence striking the USA east coast, Mr Trump spoke with political leaders in the Carolinas and offered "whatever is needed", Sarah Sanders, the White House spokesman, said.

Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who is also retiring, said: "There is no reason to dispute these numbers". That's a number that came out of Puerto Rico's government after it commissioned a study by George Washington University.

"Only Donald Trump could see the tragedy in Puerto Rico and conclude that he is the victim", said Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat.

Puerto Rico's government is run by the New Progressive party, a pro-statehood, Puerto Rico-only party.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.