Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

President Trump Says Hurricane Maria Death Toll 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
Patty Aguilar | 15 September, 2018, 17:29

Stephen Colbert is not too happy with President Donald Trump's recent challenges to the viral death toll numbers in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria a year ago.

George Washington University, which released the study that estimated 2,975 died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria, said Thursday that the school stood by the study and was "confident" of the number's accuracy. But I think this is more than politics.

Are these the worst tweets to have ever been tweeted by Trump... so far? It was initially said to have killed just 64 people. This number included deaths that were indirectly related to the storm.

The study from GWU says several factors led to deaths being reported long after the storm had hit.

MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace unleashed fury on President Donald Trump on Thursday for claiming that the almost 3,000-person death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico was an inflated number promoted by Democrats.

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

It found that 2,975 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria. But Trump, whose efforts to help the island territory recover have been persistently criticized, was having none of that Thursday.

The report was commissioned by Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, who faced public pressure after the original death toll was widely disputed.

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"Some extra people will have died of old age earlier than they would have if there'd been no hurricane". "If you've seen Trump Tower, I'm pretty sure blind people decorated it", Colbert said. The study also examined mortality rates during the period after Hurricane Maria, and compared them to the same time period over the previous seven years.

The Democratic lawmakers called on the administration to support more funding for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as back a formal review into what went wrong.

"Casualties don't make a person look bad", House Speaker Paul Ryan said.

"'We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan)", Trump tweeted.

The tweets were a political grenade for Florida Republicans, who have traveled to Puerto Rico, sought endorsements from the island's officials and otherwise worked continually to court the Puerto Rican vote for November.

Political officials from both sides of the aisle condemned the president's statements and said they believed the death toll.

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

In this September 4, 2018 photo, Gloria Rosado Ortiz holds a photograph of her late husband Ernesto Curiel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 4, 2018.

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