Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump rejects Hurricane Maria death toll in Puerto Rico

Trump rejects Hurricane Maria death toll in Puerto Rico

The findings were embraced by the government of Puerto Rico as the study was released.

"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", he wrote.

"What may be millions of water bottles. meant for victims of Hurricane Maria, have been sitting on a runway in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, since past year, according to @FEMA, which confirmed the news to me", Begnaud wrote.

Mr Trump's tweets came as Hurricane Florence - a category two storm projected to bring catastrophic flooding - bears down on the US East Coast.

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Of course, the 2,975-person death toll from Hurricane Maria was not a Democratic ploy to hurt Trump.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló shot back in a statement that "the historical relationship between Puerto Rico and Washington is unfair and unAmerican" and "certainly not a successful relationship".

Repeated power cuts also led to an increased number of deaths from diabetes and sepsis.

A report published in May by the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health said up to 4,600 people were killed and an investigation published in December by the Center for Investigative Journalism found the actual death toll exceeded 1,000 people.

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The initial low death count of 64 people only took into account those who died from "structural collapse, flying debris, floods and drownings". Chávez said he only became aware of the bottled water on Tuesday and does not know why it is there, how it got there or how long it has been there.

"Although you don't believe it... nearly a million boxes of water that were never delivered to the villages", posted Abdiel Santana, a photographer working for a Puerto Rican state police agency who took the pictures.

Trump has eschewed any blame for the slow response to the island and the death of hundreds if not thousands of Americans, blaming Puerto Rico's electrical grid.

Last month she described Mr Trump's handling of Maria as a "stain on his presidency".

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Floyd caused similar problems when its torrential rains inundated much of eastern North Carolina in 1999. Preparations for Florence were intensifying up and down the densely populated coast.

The General Services Administration in Puerto Rico (GSA) says it requested FEMA's inventory of excess water through a federal program on April 17 and was given approval to use the supplies on April 26.

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