Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Trump Says Democrats Inflated Puerto Rico Death Toll From Hurricane Maria

Trump Says Democrats Inflated Puerto Rico Death Toll From Hurricane Maria

As Hurricane Florence bears down on the US, President Trump was blasted online after he said that the death count for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico previous year was raised by Democrats to make him look bad.

In a tweet, Trump said 3,000 people did not die in the storms.

In fact, there are two categories of disaster deaths.

"My teams knew about it but first they will say, "no we cannot use them, ' months later water was no good for human consumption", he tweeted". "When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths", he tweeted. The study was based on a statistical model that subtracted the number of people who, in theory, should have died over the same time period as Hurricane Maria from the number of people who actually died during that time.

"Our results show that Hurricane Maria was a very deadly storm, one that affected the entire island but hit the poor and the elderly the hardest", the statement read.

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The study says the original estimates were so low because doctors on the island had not been trained to properly classify deaths after a natural disaster. But the slow federal response in Maria dimmed that hope.

Puerto Rico's government is run by the New Progressive party, a pro-statehood, Puerto Rico-only party. Gov. Ricardo Rossello told CBS New York on Thursday that he was a Democrat but stressed that the government sought the study and said it "tried to make this process a completely independent process". "Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers".

She said at the time that back-to-back hurricanes previous year prompted "the largest domestic disaster response mission in history".

It was not until last month that electricity was fully restored to the entire island of Puerto Rico, almost a year after the hurricane made landfall.

The island is still suffering power failures and around 60,000 homes still have makeshift roofs.

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Earlier this week, Trump hailed his administration's response to Maria as "an incredible, unsung success".

No one suggests that Trump was primarily responsible for the deaths in Puerto Rico.

Trump's tweets - which came as a highly unsafe Hurricane Florence churned toward the Carolinas - brought an immediate rebuke from Democrats in Congress.

Bahamonde said FEMA made a decision to move the bottled water to the runway in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, and make them available on a government contract in January, as demand for the water from the Puerto Rican government decreased.

That assessment brought sharp rebukes from officials in Puerto Rico and congressional Democrats.

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