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Trump disputes Puerto Rico storm death toll, draws outcry


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Trump disputes Puerto Rico storm death toll, draws outcry

By Doina Chiacu

 

2018-09-13T155958Z_1_LYNXNPEE8C1QT_RTROPTP_4_USA-PUERTORICO-TRUMP.JPG

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk through a neighborhood damaged by Hurricane Maria in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, U.S., October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday disputed Puerto Rico's official death toll of 3,000 from hurricanes last year and accused Democrats of inflating the figure reached in an independent academic study.

 

Trump bristled at criticism of his administration's handling of the Puerto Rico disaster as Hurricane Florence approached the coast of North Carolina and began to unleash fierce rains that forecasters warned would cause catastrophic flooding across a wide swath of the U.S. southeast.

 

The Republican president said Democrats inflated the number of dead in Puerto Rico "in order to make me look as bad as possible" but he did not provide evidence.

 

Some well-known Republicans split with Trump on the issue. Privately, some White House officials were exasperated with the president's focus on Puerto Rico at a time when Florence is bearing down on the U.S. East Coast.

 

In a tweet, Trump said: "3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000."

 

Puerto Rico was recovering from Hurricane Irma before Hurricane Maria hit in September 2017, destroying roads and bridges and leaving much of the Caribbean island without electricity for months.

 

The death toll from Maria, the most powerful storm to hit there in almost a century, was raised last month from 64, a number widely discounted as far too low, to 2,975.

 

That number was produced by public health experts at George Washington University in Washington in a report commissioned by the U.S. territory's governor, Ricardo Rossello.

 

The study found that those deaths could be attributed directly or indirectly to Maria from the time it struck in September 2017 to mid-February of this year.

 

The report compared predicted mortality under normal circumstances and deaths documented after Maria. (Study: https://bit.ly/2wwqEqF)

 

Rossello said Puerto Ricans "do not deserve to have their pain questioned" and backed the study.

 

"We left this analysis to the scientists and experts, recognising that there would be many challenges, because we wanted to have a powerful and independent voice to minimise the uncertainty," he said in a video on Facebook.

 

George Washington University stood by its estimate. "We are confident that the number - 2,975 - is the most accurate and unbiased estimate of excess mortality to date," the school said in a statement.

 

At the same time, the top Republican in Congress, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, said he had no reason to dispute the official death toll, while Republican Senator Marco Rubio said tragedy should not be politicized.

 

"I disagree with @POTUS," Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, said on Twitter.

 

The emergency response to Maria became highly politicised as the Trump administration was criticised as being slow to recognise the extent of the devastation and too sluggish in providing disaster relief to Puerto Rico, an island of more than 3 million residents.

 

Trump touted the federal government's response as "an incredible, unsung success" this week.

 

Thursday's tweets drew the ire of Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of Puerto Rico's capital, San Juan, who has sharply criticised both the president and his administration's response to Maria.

 

"This is what denial following neglect looks like: Mr Pres in the real world people died on your watch. YOUR LACK OF RESPECT IS APPALLING!" she wrote on Twitter before calling Trump delusional and unhinged from reality.

 

On Wednesday, Puerto Rican officials said about 20,000 pallets of water bottles shipped to Puerto Rico after Maria went unused and became too contaminated to drink.

 

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington; Additional reporting by Steve Holland and Makini Brice in Washington and Luis Valentin Ortiz in San Juan; Editing by Alistair Bell and James Dalgleish)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-09-14
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"...The Republican president said Democrats inflated the number of dead in Puerto Rico "in order to make me look as bad as possible" but he did not provide evidence..."

 

Hmm... perhaps the President could look at the Congressional review of the hurricane response? That would give good information and provide a guide on what worked and what needed to be improved.

 

Oh wait. This is yet another area where congressional Republicans have failed to provide their constitutionally-mandated oversight responsibility. The emasculation and failure of the Republican party is stunning in its breadth; never before have I seen a group of people fail to live up to their responsibilities as much as they have.

 

Forgive me, but one has to think that given Trump's previous, wide-spread, well-documented, public hostility towards Latinos, he simply does not give a rat's ass about Puerto Rico or the Americans living there; he merely thinks about how the numbers might affect him and him alone.

 

I have said it before and (sadly) need to say it again;

 

Donald Trump is an ever-expanding cloud of toxic waste that defiles everything it touches.

 

God help us all.

 

 

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More lies. Nobody is surprised. He's already tanked in the polls. The people now get it - the emperor has no clothes.

 

Quote

 

President Trump’s Four-Pinocchio complaint about the Maria death toll figures

SLG4SJS67ZG63EZ5JDOESPLVVI.jpg

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/09/13/president-trumps-four-pinocchio-complaint-about-maria-death-toll-figures/?utm_term=.352a1218647a

 

 

 

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Another disaster area.

 

Quote

 

It’s time to declare the White House a disaster area

President Trump’s pathological inability to admit error, his insatiable appetite for praise, his complete absence of empathy and his debilitating weakness for conspiracy theories have now combined to create a grotesque, if predictable, spectacle. He is doubling down on his absurd and offensive suggestion that his response to Hurricane Maria last year was “incredibly successful.”

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/09/13/heckuva-job-trumpie-now-hes-denying-that-thousands-of-people-died-in-hurricane-maria/

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No surprise, Trump is a habitual, petty and vicious liar - now reached 5,000 false or misleading statements is the public domain.

 

On his 601st day in office, President Donald Trump broke what many people might have assumed was an unbreakable barrier: He said his 5,000th thing that was either totally false or partially untrue.

That's according to the count being kept by the invaluable folks at The Washington Post's Fact Checker blog. And, what's even more amazing than a President who is averaging -- repeat: averaging -- more than eight untruths a day is this: Trump's penchant for saying false things is exponentially increasing as his presidency wears on.

 

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/09/13/politics/donald-trump-truth-facts-lies/index.html

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Does not the official death toll from this hurricane come from the Puerto Rica Govt.? 

Whats Trump got to do with it? Right or wrong the local government reports the official death toll. A hundred different sources can do studies and it still does not change the local govt official death toll.

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I totally love it when Trump tells more porkies, especially a big one like the "unsung success" that Porto Rico was under his leadership (when he aided all those American Latinos whom he loves so much). Huge porkies like this help  convince voters of any persuasion  that this little man is nothing but a big bag of excrement and unfit to lead a great country. November and the blue wave is just around the corner. But there is still time for many more porkies to be told and exposed.

Tonight, Hurricane Florence strikes the coast. But coasters should fear not, Donald J Trump will look after you !!!

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1 hour ago, dcutman said:

Does not the official death toll from this hurricane come from the Puerto Rica Govt.? 

Whats Trump got to do with it? Right or wrong the local government reports the official death toll. A hundred different sources can do studies and it still does not change the local govt official death toll.

No, the calculation was made by an independent body:

 

“This was a scientific research project commissioned by the government of Puerto Rico and independently done,” said Carlos Santos-Burgoa, who led the study from George Washington University's Milken Institute of School of Public Health.

 

Along the way, their methodology was reviewed by a Johns Hopkins University researcher and by a panel of national and international experts in the field, Santos-Burgoa said. 

 

He said the team was “obsessed” with getting as much peer input as possible.

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/09/13/hurricane-maria-death-toll-study-george-washington-university-death-toll-donald-trump/1288908002/

 

Puerto Rico’s representative in Congress, a Trump supporter, rejects president’s death-toll claim

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/puerto-ricos-representative-in-congress-rejects-trumps-death-toll-claim/2018/09/13/bfa55738-b782-11e8-a2c5-3187f427e253_story.html?utm_term=.7b4ab449f78d

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11 minutes ago, Credo said:

No, the calculation was made by an independent body:

 

“This was a scientific research project commissioned by the government of Puerto Rico and independently done,” said Carlos Santos-Burgoa, who led the study from George Washington University's Milken Institute of School of Public Health.

 

Along the way, their methodology was reviewed by a Johns Hopkins University researcher and by a panel of national and international experts in the field, Santos-Burgoa said. 

 

He said the team was “obsessed” with getting as much peer input as possible.

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/09/13/hurricane-maria-death-toll-study-george-washington-university-death-toll-donald-trump/1288908002/

 

Puerto Rico’s representative in Congress, a Trump supporter, rejects president’s death-toll claim

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/puerto-ricos-representative-in-congress-rejects-trumps-death-toll-claim/2018/09/13/bfa55738-b782-11e8-a2c5-3187f427e253_story.html?utm_term=.7b4ab449f78d

i was talking to a guy from the States the other day and he supported Trump's view,, scary, could not convince him other wise.  his view is that you could not believe these liberal Phd's at the universities in the States,  nor their research. nor their numbers.  i asked him if he was seriously ill would he prefer a John Hopkins trained surgeon or a witch doctor.  hmm.  hopeless, but this is the cultural divide that is prevalent in America today.  the dark ages cometh. 

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7 minutes ago, malibukid said:

i was talking to a guy from the States the other day and he supported Trump's view,, scary, could not convince him other wise.  his view is that you could not believe these liberal Phd's at the universities in the States,  nor their research. nor their numbers.  i asked him if he was seriously ill would he prefer a John Hopkins trained surgeon or a witch doctor.  hmm.  hopeless, but this is the cultural divide that is prevalent in America today.  the dark ages cometh. 

Have you ever tried talking to a brick wall? It is very similar to talking to a "Trumpeteer". They ignore common sense and reason, won't listen to it, their minds are closed. I should know, I have a brother who has become an American and he and wife claim to be "die hard Republicans". I remember back when Trump was just a candidate. They knew he was a flake but the RINO called himself a Republican and hijacked the party and garnered that following like my bro. The only truth I have heard Trump utter was "he said he could stand on New York’s Fifth Avenue “and shoot somebody” and still not lose voters". Unfortunately, that statement of his seems to be true.

Although my reading says his base is dwindling (PLEASE), some Trumpeteers will never stray.

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The voice from the bottom of the swamp spews out yet another outrageous lie. Unfortunately the public has become so inured to his verbal manure that what should have resulted in immediate condemnation across the political spectrum just leads to more news headlines.

May the McD diet do its job post haste!:bah:

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3 hours ago, dcutman said:

Does not the official death toll from this hurricane come from the Puerto Rica Govt.? 

Whats Trump got to do with it? Right or wrong the local government reports the official death toll. A hundred different sources can do studies and it still does not change the local govt official death toll.

Yes, Trump has nothing to do with it. So he should have shut up, in stead of claiming 'a tremendous job'. And he should again have shut up after that, in stead of claiming 'the democrats have inflated the numbers'.

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Just when you begin to think there can be no lower point from Trump, he exceeds expectations yet again. It truly is the one success story about him.

How he manages to make the deaths of people from a natural disaster of such magnitude something that is all about him (yet again) is breathtaking. It might be time to look at disenfranchising his die hard core support as they seem incapable of normal thought processes.

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Problem #1: the Lotus (Liar Of The....) with his squalid character and bumbling incompetence

Problem #2: the SOP (Sordid Old Party) with it daunting minions

 

Due to Trump, the USA is "winning" the image of a swamp. 70 years ago, I and nearly all Germans praised it as heaven. And the USA deserved it at that time.

 

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How many evidences it needs more, until the last one realizes that this senile clown is mentally unfit as a president. His cognitive ability to link information meaningfully is indeed severely limited to a worrying degree.

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Soooooo much winning!

I wonder, how he spins this one, during one of his next Nuremberg-style rallies!

 

"I heard, the Dems shipped in dead bodies from Mexico and Massaschuschesch with buses, to this island, that surrounded by water...big water...ocean water...wet water... just to up the death toll!

And the failing (insert news outlet of your choice) and the fake news media reported on it, bigly falsly!"

 

He is such a sad excuse for a human being!

 

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5 hours ago, webfact said:

The Republican president said Democrats inflated the number of dead in Puerto Rico "in order to make me look as bad as possible" but he did not provide evidence.

 

No one needs to do anything to make you look bad, your record speaks for itself. 

 

There is no evidence, as fictional, delusional, paranoid claims do not have any. 

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It would be so easy for him to acknowledge that Maria was a horrible disaster, and that we mourn the loss of life, and that we can always do a better job responding to natural disasters.

 

But no, he needs to make about himself, blame the Dems, the fake news, the victims, the Purto Rican officials, the fact that it's their fault they're an island

 

Very few people defending him on this one so you know it's bad.

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i don't trust either side in this.  trump is an idiot who gets his info from the foxnews crawler at the bottom of the screen, which is all about him.......the pr government wants more funding.

 

the study is really interesting, but seems they could have simply provided a list of the 3000 or so deaths with the hurricane-related cause of death.  it'll be too easy for trump&friends to blow off the study as being based on flawed models rather than hard data.

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6 hours ago, dcutman said:

Does not the official death toll from this hurricane come from the Puerto Rica Govt.? 

Whats Trump got to do with it? Right or wrong the local government reports the official death toll. A hundred different sources can do studies and it still does not change the local govt official death toll.

Yes it does, and the official death toll is 2,975.    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/08/28/puerto-rico-governor-raises-hurricane-maria-death-toll-from-64-to-2975.html

 

Edit:  It's worth noting that Fox News does have real journalists reporting real news, but they receive little attention.  Fox News is known for its talk show pundits--Hannity, Ingraham, Carlson, and its entertainment programs such as Fox and Friends.  These are not news programs, but Fox viewers don't know that.  Trump definitely doesn't know that.

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6 hours ago, Samui Bodoh said:

"...The Republican president said Democrats inflated the number of dead in Puerto Rico "in order to make me look as bad as possible" but he did not provide evidence..."

 

Hmm... perhaps the President could look at the Congressional review of the hurricane response? That would give good information and provide a guide on what worked and what needed to be improved.

 

Oh wait. This is yet another area where congressional Republicans have failed to provide their constitutionally-mandated oversight responsibility. The emasculation and failure of the Republican party is stunning in its breadth; never before have I seen a group of people fail to live up to their responsibilities as much as they have.

 

Forgive me, but one has to think that given Trump's previous, wide-spread, well-documented, public hostility towards Latinos, he simply does not give a rat's ass about Puerto Rico or the Americans living there; he merely thinks about how the numbers might affect him and him alone.

 

I have said it before and (sadly) need to say it again;

 

Donald Trump is an ever-expanding cloud of toxic waste that defiles everything it touches.

 

God help us all.

 

 

Super well said, excellent critique. Hope you mean the WHOLE disbelieving world

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interesting tidbit from that link.  trump was comparing katrina to maria.  katrina caused 1200 direct deaths during (and possibly immediately after) the hurricane as opposed to what was it 64 from maria?

 

the study is using a 6-month period and including indirect deaths.  completely different method.

 

the same method used for katrina would likely indicate tens of thousands of deaths caused by the storm.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, ChouDoufu said:

interesting tidbit from that link.  trump was comparing katrina to maria.  katrina caused 1200 direct deaths during (and possibly immediately after) the hurricane as opposed to what was it 64 from maria?

 

the study is using a 6-month period and including indirect deaths.  completely different method.

 

the same method used for katrina would likely indicate tens of thousands of deaths caused by the storm.

"John Mutter, a Columbia University professor, has been gathering personal testimonials and public records of those killed in Katrina for an effort he calls Katrinalist. Mutter estimates the true death toll will top 3,500 if those killed by the storm and by its many after-effects are accurately tallied. And yet other counts put the toll at an estimated 1,800."  https://www.chron.com/news/nation-world/article/5-years-after-Katrina-storm-s-death-toll-remains-1589464.php

 

The same source puts the official death toll from Katrina at 1464 in Louisiana alone. 

 

It's impossible to say with certainty which was the more deadly hurricane, but I think we can agree that the US government response was seriously bungled, with tragic results, in both cases.

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24 minutes ago, ChouDoufu said:

interesting tidbit from that link.  trump was comparing katrina to maria.  katrina caused 1200 direct deaths during (and possibly immediately after) the hurricane as opposed to what was it 64 from maria?

 

the study is using a 6-month period and including indirect deaths.  completely different method.

 

the same method used for katrina would likely indicate tens of thousands of deaths caused by the storm.

 

 

At least 1800 died because of Katrina

 

Different hurricane. 

 

Different president. 

 

Different death toll. 

 

https://www.britannica.com/event/Hurricane-Katrina

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64 deaths reported by the PR government. 

 

There were not 2,975 dead bodies laid out on the tarmac from this storm.  That figure is the highest ESTIMATE from a few broadened statistical scenarios and models during the 6 month study period.  

 

Not taking anything away from the storm.  It was bad.  Typhoons can be gnarly.   Been there done that.  Twice.  It's just too bad Trump has to start a pissing contest.  But at the same time, the PR Gov and mayor are taking the piss.

 

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