Reality Check: Is President Trump’s Puerto Rico Tweet Accurate?

Andrew Caballero  AFP  Getty ImagesA large rain cloud passes over a day before the arrival of hurricane Florence in Wilmington N.C. on Sept. 12 2018

Some context: President Trump is facing criticism from Democrats and several Republicans after yesterday's tweet that questioned the number of deaths attributed to hurricane Maria a year ago.

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".

The Republican president suggested the hurricane death toll was artificially boosted by adding those who had passed away from natural causes such as old age. "Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!" he wrote.

San Juan mayor and frequent Trump critic Carmen Yulín Cruz tweeted in response to the president, "This is what denial following neglect looks like: Mr Pres in the real world people died on your watch".

Trump's tweets are not only disrespectful to the lives lost in Puerto Rico; they also assert a well-known trait of the president: no matter the tragedy, everything is always about him. You should never be content with everything we did.

The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico's capital, slammed Trump for the comments nearly immediately. "It was just such a powerful storm", the congressman said, adding that he believes Trump "has been, I think, overly criticized for his response".

And House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said, "I have no reason to dispute these numbers".

Two weeks ago, the death toll from September 2017's Hurricane Maria was increased to more than 46 times the previous official government tally.

Airlines Preparing for Impact of Hurricane Florence
The storm was getting bigger and better organised and is expected to continue to strengthen for the next day or so, the NHC said. Stoney urged residents to prepare now by gathering supplies, including nonperishable food, water, flashlights, and batteries.


"I think that the FEMA director and others who were there, I think they did everything they possibly could", U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart said.

The study concluded the initial death toll of 64 only included those killed directly by hurricanes Maria and Irma - either by drowning, flying debris or building collapse. The George Washington University report said the actual number of excess deaths was estimated to be in the range of 2,658 to 3,290.

On Tuesday, when asked if there were lessons to be learned from the 2017 storm ahead of this year's hurricane season, Trump called the response to Maria "one of the best jobs that's ever been done with respect to what this is all about".

Around 1.7 million people had been ordered to evacuate, airlines cancelled more than 1,000 flights to the area, and up to three million homes and businesses were expected to lose power. "It was devastated. This was a frightful storm", he said.

A clear pattern emerged from the analysis: The mortality rate spiked in the months after the storm, particularly in the poorest areas of Puerto Rico, and among elderly males.

Trump has previously said his administration's handling of the storms was "an incredible unsung success". "That is just what happened".

"We agree that no estimates regarding loss of life have been inflated and we remain focused on ensuring a full recovery for the island and creating more economic opportunities for those arriving in Florida", Cortes said in an email.

Related News:



Most liked

Rumor mill: 5 things to expect from Apple's new iPhone(s)
It also mentioned that the larger OLED phone (known as the " iPhone XS Plus") will price "at a premium to the current iPhone X". Apple has warned customers through their official website about models of the iPhone 8 having problems according to Forbes .

Hurricane Florence's path: What to expect and when
And the storm surge , which could be as much as 12 feet in some areas, will be on top of sea level rise from climate change. You are going to be displaced from your home in the coastal areas, and there will be flooding in the inland areas as well.

Swedish election: Main blocs neck and neck as nationalists gain
For me, when he is saying that immigrants are not welcome to Sweden ... he is trying to spread hate between the people. Victory for the Sweden Democrats means that neither of these blocks got anything close to a parliamentary majority.

Turkey Masses Troops on Syrian Border, Braces for New Refugees
Idlib is largely controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an alliance led by Al-Qaeda's former Syrian affiliate, as well as rival rebels.

Tesla Cuts Number of Car Paint Options Available to Boost Productivity
Tesla stock closed on Monday almost 8.5% higher at US$285.50, just off the session peak at US$286.03. Tesla shares fell Friday, amid news the company had lost two members of its senior leadership team.

Hurricane Florence: over 1m ordered to evacuate in SC and Virginia
North Carolina ordered evacuations for the Outer Banks barrier islands, including popular tourist destination Hatteras Island. Two other storms were spinning in the Atlantic as the 2018 hurricane season reaches its peak.

Hurricane Florence prompts mandatory evacuations as it nears Category 5 strength
That heavy rain will come as a result of Florence not making a lot of movement away from the Carolinas after making landfall. Graham urged coastal residents to finish their planning before the arrival of tropical-storm-force windows on Wednesday.

Andhra CM announces Rs 2 cut in petrol, diesel price from Tuesday
As it stands, the sales tax the state has imposed on petrol is 30.37 per cent, and that on diesel is 23.81 per cent. In Mumbai, a litre of petrol costs Rs 87.77 and diesel comes for Rs 76.98, the notification said.

Browns, Steelers play to 21-21 tie
The Browns revamped offensive line, with rookie Desmond Harrison at left tackle, surrendered - sacks. Backup James Conner had 135 yards rushing and two touchdowns and caught five passes for 57 yards.

Aaron Rodgers is good to go next week
There is a very delicate balance for McCarthy to find in play-calling, and I don't want to make it sound obvious or easy. Backup DeShone Kizer took over behind center while Rodgers was being evaluated in the locker room in the second quarter.

Tesla Accounting Chief Quit After Elon Musk Ignored Pitfalls of Going Private
It later said that Chief People Officer Gaby Toledano would not return from a leave of absence, just over a year after joining. He said: I think the future in where we are a space-faring civilisation out there among the stars, that is very exciting.

Anger of British Airways customers after 380000 payments hit in data breach
Some 75,000 passengers were left stranded after a glitch forced the airline to cancel almost 726 flights over three days. BA says the breach relates to bookings made between 10.58pm on August 21 and 9.45pm on September 5.

US Warns North Korea: No Concessions Without Denuclearization
It's Kim's fourth personal letter to President Trump , . since the first letter was sent in June. Indeed, as the Chinese news agency also said, at the moment "the ball is in Washington's court".

Serena or Osaka? We hit the NY streets to ask fans
The Japanese saved two more break points in her next service game and then it was Keys's turn to get rattled. Her 10 WTA singles titles include one on the clay court at Stuttgart, a win that took even her by surprise.

Tom Brady Wants To Play Five More Seasons
Watt played in three games in 2016 before reaggravating a back injury and needing season-ending back surgery. It'll be a challenge for me. "I don't think it falls on one person", Andrews said". "I'm very excited.