Alex Cora discusses Trump's comments on Puerto Rico

  • Alex Cora discusses Trump's comments on Puerto Rico

Alex Cora discusses Trump's comments on Puerto Rico

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday disputed Puerto Rico's official death toll of 3,000 from hurricanes previous year and accused Democrats of inflating the figure that was reached in an independent academic study.

An independent study commissioned by the Puerto Rican government estimates 2,975 people died as a result of the hurricane, but Trump said that number is false.

Trump said on Twitter that "they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths" at the time he visited the island after the storm.

The report came almost a year after a much-maligned visit to Puerto Rico by Trump two weeks after Maria, where he implied that residents should be "proud" that the official death toll at the time was just 16 people, far lower than that of a "real catastrophe, like Katrina".

Trump's comments come as Hurricane Florence, now a category 2 storm, hurtles towards the Carolina coast, threatening millions in its path.

"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.

The media has also used the hurricane to attack Trump, often blaming his administration for any failures in Puerto Rico, even if the fault lies with Puerto Rican officials.

Puerto Rico Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marin called out Yulin Cruz last night on Fox News as being one of Puerto Rico's politicians who has "politicized" the natural disaster. That is only an estimate, however, since they did not study how each individual died, although they hope to conduct that study in the future.

The researchers estimated the number of excess deaths by analyzing death certificates and other mortality data, and comparing the number of deaths during the designated period to past mortality patterns.

In recent days, Trump publicly lauded his own administration's response to Maria - and privately groused over storm-related news coverage that he saw as overly focused on Puerto Rico, according to two Republican advisers close to the White House who weren't authorized to speak publicly. "We're not able to say that now", the dean of GW's Milken Institute School of Public Health, Lynn Goldman, told CNN late last month.

Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for the U.S. Senate, tweeted: "I've been to Puerto Rico 7 times & saw devastation firsthand". It made landfall on Puerto Rico on September 20, battering the island with winds of up to 155 miles per hour, ripping buildings apart and uprooting trees. That statement ignored the difficulty of counting deaths after the hurricane decimated the island's infrastructure. At the time, the government's death toll stood at 64.