Trump disputes Puerto Rico's hurricane death toll. Here's how they are calculated

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 14, 2018

Trump then boasted about "successfully raising" billions of dollars to rebuild the territory.

A small number of Republicans seemed to side with the president. "So I have no reason to dispute those numbers".

Especially upset were GOP politicians in Florida, a state with a substantial Puerto Rican population. "Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!". "The loss of any life is tragic".

"We had provided [water] to every volunteer agency that had a warehouse, every entity... a lot of municipalities had excess water", said Justo Hernandez, Operational Coordination Division Director for FEMA, in a conference call with reporters Thursday.

And yet, per his tweets, somehow the president is the victim in all this.

Colbert read Trump's earlier tweet on Puerto Rico in a sing-song voice, and then cited a George Washington University study that claimed 2,975 people died in the months after the storm hit. "It was just such a powerful storm", the congressman said, adding that he believes Trump "has been, I think, overly criticized for his response". "Direct" deaths include such fatalities as drownings in a storm surge or being crushed in a wind-toppled building.

The initial low death count of 64 people only took into account those who died from "structural collapse, flying debris, floods and drownings".

"When I left the Island, after the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths", Trump tweeted. The list is arranged to show the most recent studies first.

The estimate of almost 3000 dead in the six months after Maria devastated the island and knocked out the entire electrical grid was made by researchers with the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University.

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.

FEMA administrator Brock Long said Wednesday on MSNBC that "indirect deaths" are often more numerous than deaths caused immediately by a natural disaster. We are committed to the health of the population.

"The aftereffects, people don't talk about that", he said. That statement ignored the difficulty of counting deaths after the hurricane decimated the island's infrastructure.

The president defended the federal government's "fantastic job" in Puerto Rico. Rossello officially updated the island's death toll with the new information. It's time to declare the White House a disaster area and take the appropriate constitutional measures to rescue the republic from Trump's flagrant mismanagement and appalling misconduct.

She said at the time that back-to-back hurricanes previous year prompted "the largest domestic disaster response mission in history".

The island is still suffering power failures and around 60,000 homes still have makeshift roofs.

In fact, when Air Force One left Puerto Rico, the death toll stood at 45.

Bahamonde said FEMA made a decision to move the bottled water to the runway in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, and make them available on a government contract in January, as demand for the water from the Puerto Rican government decreased.

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