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

14 September, 2018, 16:12 | Author: Myra Gill
  • President Trump tosses paper towels into a crowd as he hands out supplies at Calvary Chapel Guaynabo Puerto Rico in October

Navarro said that precisely because of those facts, FEMA and Trump should have known that the island would need extra help.

The study, which was conducted without the backing of any political group, surveyed 3,000 residences across the United States' territory and found Puerto Ricans died at a much higher rate in the four months following the hurricane than in the same time period a year earlier. "Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000..." he said, apparently in reference to the official tolls that came out months after the storm.

As The Washington Post reported on Sept. 29, 2017, the president was initially attentive when Hurricane Maria made landfall on Wednesday, Sept. 20, but not for long: "For four days after that - as storm-ravaged Puerto Rico struggled for food and water amid the darkness of power outages - Trump and his top aides effectively went dark themselves".

The president defended the federal government's "fantastic job" in Puerto Rico.

Trump's comments drew swift criticism from elected officials and residents of the island, where blackouts remain common, 60,000 homes still have makeshift roofs and 13 percent of municipalities lack stable phone or internet service. An "independent study said thousands were lost and Gov. (Ricardo) Rosselló agreed", wrote Scott, who is running for the Senate. "Ron is focused on continuing to help our Puerto Rican neighbors recover and create opportunities for those who have moved to Florida [to] succeed".

Trump tweeted Thursday as Hurricane Florence bears down on the Carolinas. The drastic increase gave critics opportunity to skewer the Trump White House for their supposed inaction.

Trump maintained as recently as Tuesday that his response to the storm was an "incredible unsung success". That led the cable news coverage that evening, further angering the president, according to one of the people.

"Only Donald Trump could see the tragedy in Puerto Rico and conclude that he is the victim", Sen. "Just, you know, how wrong in every single wrong, morally, politically".


It is unclear where the breakdown that caused the bottles to never be distributed was caused.

The death toll from Maria, the most powerful storm to hit there in nearly a century, was raised last month from 64, a number widely discounted as far too low, to 2,975. Trump said there were "6 to 18 deaths" shortly after the storm hit Puerto Rico in 2017. The parties are courting Puerto Rican voters who are longtime residents of Florida, as well as those who relocated to the state after Maria caused devastating damage to the US territory last September.

No one would use such a foolish methodology except for political reasons.

Katie Pavlich said there can be valid questions about how death tolls are determined and whether the federal or local government is more responsible, but that's an argument for another time. This is more fake news propagated by anti-Trump activists.

They said the study had been commissioned by the Puerto Rico government and was carried out "with complete independence and freedom from any kind of interference".

Puerto Rico has been a US territory since 1898.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a veteran Republican congresswoman from Florida, said Trump "has a warped mind that would turn this statistic into fake news".

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