Trump stance on Puerto Rico death toll draws criticism on Capitol Hill

FEMA chief Coastal NC residents should leave

With Hurricane Florence about to deliver a "Mike Tyson punch" to the Carolinas in what is being forecast as potentially the strongest hurricane to strike the East Coast in decades, many people are being reminded of the fact that, almost a year after Hurricane Maria, parts of Puerto Rico still don't have power.

The figure was reached by comparing the total number of deaths reported from September 2017 through February 2018 to typical number of deaths on the island over a six-month period. "Just do it", she said.

Then on August 28, an epidemiological study by George Washington University commissioned by the island's government concluded that 2,975 people were killed as a result of the storm.

Repeated power cuts also led to an increased number of deaths from diabetes and sepsis.

That includes one report that estimated the death toll was 2,975 - a figure that the government of Puerto Rico has adopted as the official count.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., said he has "no reason to dispute" the numbers of those who died.

In conclusion, President Trump doesn't understand statistics or empathy.

Trump began to focus on Hurricane Florence earlier this week, calling for an Oval Office briefing with the FEMA director to warn about the threat. And New Orleans was far more accessible than the mountainous island of Puerto Rico. Previous reports from the Puerto Rican government said the number was closer to 1,400.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz responded: "Simply put: delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality".

"You will never take away our self respect".

"I just think if we can keep politics out of it, help those people who are suffering, I just think that's a better response".

She says the president is tone deaf to peoples' suffering. "He sees these facts and sees people blaming him for the 3,000 deaths and I think what he's trying to get across is the fact that, and Ana knows this, Puerto Rico was not in great shape", he argued.

"We are scientists. We are public health people".

What's the United States political reaction?

Ryan didn't answer a question about whether Trump's claim disturbed him or whether Trump should apologize to the victims' families.

Some Republicans also criticized the president's tweet. He disavowed Trump's tweet, as did other Republicans in the state, including Rep. Ron DeSantis, who is running to succeed Scott as governor, and Sen. "The loss of any life is tragic", Scott continued, "the extent of lives lost as a result of Maria is heart wrenching".

"This is a devastating storm that hit an isolated island". "And that's really no one's fault".

Why were 20,000 pallets of water left on a runway?

"FEMA put that water out on that airstrip for the goal of getting it out of containers, so that there would be no cost to us and no cost to the taxpayer", he said.

Mr Chavez said his agency had received complaints about the taste and smell of the water, and that Fema should accept responsibility. And like I said, hey man, thank you for helping us.

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