Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Trump Denies Puerto Rico's Hurricane Maria Death Toll

Possibly Millions Of Water Bottles Meant For Hurricane Maria Victims Left On Tarmac In Puerto Rico Donald Trump Blames Hurricane Maria Death Toll On Democrats And “Old Age”
Ellis Copeland | 15 September, 2018, 21:43

Trump's controversial remarks sparked a rare bipartisan backlash, with even some members of his own party echoing the condemnation from Democratic opposition leaders.

Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtinen: The Florida Republican had one of the harshest takes. More than 80 people died as a result of that storm, according to officials.

A defense, with a mistake: While on CNN, Rick Santorum defended the Trump administration's response to Maria, saying that while FEMA plays a big role, the primary responsibility lies with the "country of Puerto Rico".

Trump tweeted Thursday morning about how the death toll had been exaggerated.

"This is a devastating storm that hit an isolated island".

'If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. He says, "Then, like magic, '3000 PEOPLE KILLED'". In December, three months after Maria struck Puerto Rico, the official toll climbed to 64.

Trump's latest grumbling on the Maria death toll comes as Tropical Storm Florence inundates the Carolinas, killing at least four people.

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Oklahoma search and rescue helicopter team leaves for Hurricane Florence
Wednesday, the Category 4 storm was about 435 miles southeast of Wilmington, N.C., and moving northwest at about 16 mph. Almost 1000 prisoners in SC will not be moved from their cells, despite a mandatory evacuation order in the area.


Hurricane Florence closes in on USA east coast
Overall, unsafe storm surge is possible all the way from Edisto Beach, South Carolina , to the North Carolina/Virginia border. The hurricane came ashore early on Friday, pounding the state with torrential rain and high winds.


The president, with some justification, has said the situation in Puerto Rico after Maria was exacerbated by the island's remote location and pre-existing infrastructure issues, such as an antiquated power grid. He suggested speciously that George Washington University - whose researchers analyzed mortality data in Puerto Rico in order to determine how many people died during the hurricane and its aftermath - created the numbers "like magic" through an unprecedented and unproven method.

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.

Throughout his presidency, Trump has struggled to publicly express empathy at times of national crises, sparking outrage during his post-Maria visit when he feuded with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz and tossed out paper towels to victims like he was shooting baskets.

"It was one of the best jobs ever done with respect to what this is all about", Trump said Tuesday at a briefing, referring to the Hurricane Maria response. "It is not", she said on her official Twitter account. Cruz had earlier described the federal disaster response in the United States territory a "despicable act of neglect".

After Trump denied that nearly 3000 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rican government officials-having witnessed the devastation first hand-were indignant, including Gov. Ricardo A. Roselló. DeSantis spokesman Stephen Lawson said the former congressman "doesn't believe any loss of life has been inflated".

The NBC star didn't just target Trump for his Puerto Rico tweets, though.

The storm made landfall with winds close to 150 miles per hour on 17 September and plowed a path of destruction across the island, causing property damage estimated at $90 billion (£68.8 billion) and leaving much of the island without electricity for months.

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