Trump Says Democrats Inflated Puerto Rico Death Toll From Hurricane Maria

Clay Curtis
September 14, 2018

The president, who is Puerto Rico's head of state, added that he "loves Puerto Rico!". Ryan noted he had been in Puerto Rico after the hurricane hit and said it had been "devastating. When I left the island after the storm had hit, they had anywhere from six to 18 deaths".

"As time went by it did not go up by much", Trump wrote.

This is not the first time Trump has tried to downplay the catastrophic hurricane, during his visit to the island soon after Maria hit, Trump said Puerto Ricans should be thankful it wasn't a "real catastrophe" like Hurricane Katrina.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday rejected a scholarly study that concluded almost 3,000 people were killed previous year by Hurricane Maria on the island territory of Puerto Rico.

Mr Trump said people who died for any reason - "like old age" - had been added to the total.

The agency said it also stopped distributing water at that time because "commerce was coming back" to Puerto Rico and officials "didn't want to injure the economy more than it already was".

Republican and Democratic politicians in Florida immediately took issue with the tweets. "I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success". Let's do better. But I don't think it helps to just point fingers at the president or the mayor.

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But when have Democrats ever let the facts get in the way of an anti-Trump myth? "I mean, it's an alternative universe, so they are never going to hear about this".

The Miken Institute released a statement refuting Trump's claims. "He has worked alongside Rep. Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon (of Puerto Rico) to secure support for rebuilding efforts". But it wasn't only the mayor who criticized Trump.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a veteran Republican congresswoman from Florida, said Trump "has a warped mind that would turn this statistic into fake news".

A June report from a local Puerto Rican news outlet - provided to The Daily Wire after it was translated into English - highlighted Yulin Cruz's absence from Puerto Rico as she politicked in the United States.

President Donald Trump makes a gesture as he leaves the stage after speaking at the September 11th Flight 93 Memorial Service in Shanksville, Pa., Sept. 11, 2018. It also followed hard on a study commissioned by the Puerto Rican government that showed the death toll from Maria was close to 3,000. That's actually lower than the estimate published by Harvard researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine - 4,645 - but it still puts Maria's death toll on a par with 9/11, whose 17th anniversary we just commemorated. "That doesn't mean you caused it, and it's not about you".

Gutierrez conceded that "the massive power of the storm was compounded by decades of neglect from Washington", which he said "didn't happen overnight and didn't happen on President Trump's watch".

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