Trump falsely claims almost 3,000 People in Puerto Rico ‘didn’t die’


“3000 folks didn’t die within the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. Once I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, that they had wherever from 6 to 18 deaths. As time glided by it didn’t go up by a lot. Then, a very long time later, they began to report actually massive numbers, like 3000,” he stated in a tweet Thursday morning as Carolinians ready to be pummeled by Hurricane Florence.

High Republicans broke from Trump’s evaluation.

Home Speaker Paul Ryan instructed reporters he has “no motive to dispute these numbers.”

“Casualties do not make an individual look unhealthy, so I’ve no motive to dispute these numbers,” he stated Thursday.

“It was devastating. It was a horrible storm. I toured the complete island. It is an remoted island that misplaced its infrastructure and energy for a very long time, you could not get to folks for a very long time,” Ryan stated.

“I’ve no motive to dispute these numbers,” he added. “These are simply the info of what occurred.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who’s locked in a good Senate race, additionally break up from Trump.

“I disagree with @POTUS– an unbiased examine stated hundreds had been misplaced and Gov. Rosselló agreed. I have been to Puerto Rico 7 occasions & noticed devastation firsthand. The lack of any life is tragic; the extent of lives misplaced on account of Maria is coronary heart wrenching. I am going to proceed to assist PR,” he tweeted.

Trump has persistently denied any fault for his administration within the aftermath of the storm. In truth, the President has as an alternative sought reward for his dealing with of Hurricane Maria, saying earlier this week that it was “an unimaginable, unsung success.”

Searching for reward

His feedback run counter to what number of locals and specialists have assessed the federal authorities’s response.

“I believe Puerto Rico was extremely profitable,” Trump stated Tuesday within the Oval Workplace, noting that the island location is “powerful” throughout a hurricane as a result of incapacity to move important tools and provides by truck. “It was among the finest jobs that is ever been executed with respect to what that is all about.”

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a vocal critic of the administration’s dealing with of the storm, has solid blame on the federal authorities for failing to supply sufficient help within the aftermath of the storm, and he or she slammed Trump’s assertion Tuesday.

“In a humanitarian disaster, you shouldn’t be grading your self. You shouldn’t be simply having a parade of self-accolades. You need to by no means be content material with every part we did. I am not content material with every part I did, I ought to have executed extra. We must always all have executed extra,” Cruz instructed CNN’s Anderson Cooper later Tuesday night.

“However the President continues to refuse to acknowledge his accountability, and the issue is that if he did not acknowledge it in Puerto Rico, God bless the folks of South Carolina and the folks of North Carolina,” Cruz stated.

Trump administration officers admit fault

Whereas the President has regularly praised the federal government response within the yr because the hurricane, others within the administration have acknowledged realized classes.

Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office released a report that exposed FEMA had been so overwhelmed with storms by the point Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico that greater than half of the workers it was deploying to disasters were known to be unqualified for the jobs they had been doing within the area.

And FEMA Administrator Brock Lengthy has stated FEMA made adjustments to a few of its priorities and procedures.

“We made a variety of adjustments in actual time along with the high-level efforts that we realized via our after-action course of. Backside line is, we’re concentrating on what we name important lifelines — well being, security, safety. , we have got meals, shelter, well being and medical, energy and gasoline, communications, transportation, hazardous waste,” he instructed reporters on a convention name on Hurricane Lane preparations final month.

“We’re hyper-focused on these seven important lifelines as a result of we realized final yr that if any a kind of lifelines goes down, then life security is in jeopardy. And so, we’re reorganizing the firepower of the federal authorities beneath these important lifelines, we’re pushing ahead,” Lengthy added.

Trump additionally alleges partisan ploy

In a second tweet Thursday, Trump solid blame on Democrats, who he stated try to make him look unhealthy.

“This was executed by the Democrats with the intention to make me look as unhealthy as attainable once I was efficiently elevating Billions of {Dollars} to assist rebuild Puerto Rico. If an individual died for any motive, like outdated age, simply add them onto the record. Unhealthy politics. I really like Puerto Rico!” he wrote.

The demise toll examine was commissioned by Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, a member of Puerto Rico’s “New Progressive Celebration.” It was carried out by the nonpartisan George Washington College’s Milken Institute Faculty of Public Well being.

There was no proof to point that partisan politics has performed a job within the calculation of the demise tally, and George Washington College launched a press release Thursday that stated it stands by its work.

Rosselló instructed CNN on Thursday that the Puerto Rican authorities is “assured” within the outcomes of the examine and that he has no motive to consider the estimate was a part of an effort by Democrats to undermine the President.

“There is not any motive to doubt the validity of those research, no motive to anticipate — regardless that it is an estimate — that it is not distant from what the correct toll needs to be,” Rosselló stated.

He additionally stated that “the victims nor the folks of Puerto Rico need to have their ache questioned.”

“The second is to not have political bickering or to argue about different issues that aren’t essential, however relatively to concentrate on the ache and bear in mind those that misplaced their lives and concentrate on rebuilding the longer term,” the governor added.

The White Home didn’t instantly reply to CNN’s request for clarification on Trump’s declare of the billions of {dollars} raised.

CNN’s Kevin Liptak, Jeremy Diamond, Natalie Gallon and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

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