Trump Denies Puerto Rico's Hurricane Maria Death Toll
Trump Denies Puerto Rico's Hurricane Maria Death Toll
Donald Trump Blames Hurricane Maria Death Toll On Democrats And “Old Age”
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".
"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.
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.
The evacuation order for the Lowcountry is lifted as Tropical Storm Florence moves out of the coast areas and into the Midlands. More than a million people along the coastlines of North Carolina , South Carolina and Virginia have been ordered to evacuate.
Expert scientists, however, had said they were anxious about Brunswick because of scant public information about its readiness. It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend.
At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Cooper said, with more facilities being opened. Since midnight, peak wind gusts reached 32 miles per hour in Raleigh and 47 miles per hour in Fayetteville.
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Video taken in several towns in the Carolinas showed emergency personnel wading through thigh-high water. After landfall, Florence slowed to a pace that meant it would plague the area with days of flooding.
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Hurricane Florence makes landfall in North Carolina
Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Cooper said, with more facilities being opened.