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President Trump disputes death toll in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

President Trump disputes death toll in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

With questions still swirling about its response previous year to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, the Trump administration doesn't appear to have taken any chances in its preparations for Hurricane Florence, which made landfall early Friday morning on Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina.

In addition to force of the hurricane itself, many people died because disease and infection due to the lack of electricity and drinkable water on the island.

In August, George Washington University released a study estimating that 2,975 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria.

"When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from six to 18 deaths", Trump said.

Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett reports.

Trump said the figure is a move by the Democrats to make him look as bad as possible.

'If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list.

Here are five Trump critics who have had angry reactions to the president's clueless remarks on Puerto Rico's death toll.

From September 2017 to February 2018, 2,975 people died, according to that study, which was commissioned by Puerto Rico's government.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz called the president's comments "delusional, paranoid and unhinged from any sense of reality".




The comedian said Trump should be more focused on the threat of Hurricane Florence at the moment.

"We deserve and expect more from someone who holds the highest office in our country", Nelson said in statement.

"You can question maybe the methodology, that's fine, but to cast doubt on an entire study because it doesn't suit your political narrative and because you think hundreds of deaths are about you, that dishonors the living and the dead", she said.

As of time of writing, five deaths in North Carolina are being attributed to Hurricane Florence. "May God bless the souls of the almost 3,000 Americans that died in Puerto Rico and may he take pity on your soul Mr President".

A United States government report published this month concluded that the federal response in Puerto Rico was hampered by a lack of trained staff as well as by major logistical challenges. Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, also a native of Puerto Rico, skipped the visit to gather supplies for relief from Hurricane Maria.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Friday said she didn't want to dwell on the president's comments, but felt compelled to respond on behalf of hurricane victims. He first boasted of the "incredible unsung success" the administration achieved in Puerto Rico, when asked if there were lessons learned from response to that hurricane, as he commemorated the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attack that killed 3K in NYC, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Lynn Goldman, the dean of GW's Milken Institute School of Public Health stressed that the number is not precise and more work should be done on the issue.

"Damn it: this is NOT about politics this was always about SAVING LIVES".

A spokesman for former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, who won the Florida GOP primary for governor with Trump's support, said he did not agree with Trump's tweets.


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