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Trump pushes conspiracy theory denying Puerto Rico hurricane death toll

13 September, 2018, 19:59 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Burke and Chris Rayner load generators as people buy supplies at The Home Depot on Monday Sept. 10 2018 in Wilmington N.C

On Thursday, President Donald Trump tweeted a denial of the death toll from Hurricane Maria, the storm that devastated Puerto Rico last September.

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico", Trump tweeted (see tweets below).

But a report from the Government Accountability Office said FEMA was so overwhelmed with storms past year that when Maria hit it was unable to respond properly, noting that more than half of its disaster workers were not qualified for the jobs they were doing.

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico ... as time went by it did not go up by much", Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

It is believed that around 2,975 people died as a result of the horrific hurricane. The government of Puerto Rico accepted these numbers, too, after many months in which the official death toll was listed at 64 people.

The Republican president suggested the hurricane death toll was artificially inflated by adding those who passed away from natural causes such as old age.

The GSA administrator for Puerto Rico, Ottmar Chávez, said FEMA reported it had the excess bottled water before he took control. 'I think Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success, ' he claimed.

The hurricane, now a category 4, is expected to slam the North and SC and Virginia by Thursday.

The mayor of Puerto Rico's capital calls Trump "delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality".

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San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a Democrat who has sparred with Trump, tweeted that "Trump is so vain he thinks this is about him".

The almost 3,000 deaths were found by analysts from George Washington University commissioned to investigate the extent of death resulting from Hurricane Maria.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) told CBS News that the water was distributed to the central government of Puerto Rico as part of hurricane relief efforts past year.

Trump's visit to Puerto Rico in October 2017 was defined by the moment he threw paper towels into a crowd of people as aid agencies and journalists warned of a major humanitarian crisis spanning the island of 3.3 million people.

Sunny Hostin called Trump's comments "grotesque" and said they render him "illegitimate as the President of the United States".

Trump's denial of the official death toll from Hurricane Maria is absurd and gross, even though there is uncertainty in the death count. "We are ready for the big one that is coming!"

Puerto Rico has been a USA territory since 1898.

"The historical relationship between Puerto Rico and Washington is unfair and un-American". More than 1 million people already faced mandatory evacuation orders Tuesday in coastal areas of Virginia, North Carolina and SC.

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