Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Science | By

Jeb Bush weighs in on Trump’s Puerto Rico tweets: ‘Incredibly disheartening’

Jeb Bush weighs in on Trump’s Puerto Rico tweets: ‘Incredibly disheartening’

U.S. President Donald Trump is rejecting the widely accepted death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria, claiming without evidence that "3,000 people did not die".

In a tweet, Trump said 3,000 people did not die in the storms.

"My teams knew about it but first they will say, "no we cannot use them, ' months later water was no good for human consumption", he tweeted".

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

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.

'You have people who died after the storm passed because they fell off their roof making repairs, they died in auto crashes because the stoplights were off, you have chainsaw accidents, you have accidents with people cleaning up debris, ' he said.

"We are scientists. We are public health people. We try to reach the truth, and we try to understand what is damaging the people in order to prevent disease", he said. It's because better information has been gathered than was available in the chaotic days after Hurricane Maria hit - and, sadly, because more people died as a result of the devastating damage to the island's infrastructure.


The president defended the federal government's "fantastic job" in Puerto Rico. After the total was revised August 28, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement in which she did not actively dispute the revised figure.

Republican response was largely muted. It took more than 11 months, for example, to fully restore electricity. Blackouts remain common. almost 60 000 homes are covered by only makeshift roofs not capable of withstanding a Category 1 hurricane.

In fact, when Air Force One left Puerto Rico, the death toll stood at 45.

Earlier this week, Trump hailed his administration's response to Maria as "an incredible, unsung success".

Trump's tweet came a day after he praised his administration's response to the storm, and bashed Mayor Cruz for allegedly sabotaging the relief effort to score political points against him.

"Although you don't believe it... nearly a million boxes of water that were never delivered to the villages", posted Abdiel Santana, a photographer working for a Puerto Rican state police agency who took the pictures.

That assessment brought sharp rebukes from officials in Puerto Rico and congressional Democrats.

Like this: