President Trump tweeted this morning @ 8:37 a.m. that “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico.” He also states that when he visited the island, “they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths.”
In the next tweet that came @ 8:49 a.m., President Trump explains that the report that shows close to 3,000 people died as result of the hurricanes that struck Puerto Rico was done, “by democrats,” in the hopes of making President Trump “look as bad as possible.” He then states that he raised, “Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico.” President Trump then added, “if a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list.” He called the report “bad politics” ending the tweet by stating, “I love Puerto Rico.”
The report that President Trump is speaking of was released in late August, commissioned by, according to CNN, the Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, a member of the “New Progressive Party.” The report was compiled by “George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health.” It’s a non-partisan group.
Bottom line of what the 69 page report found was that before Hurricane Maria hit the island in September of 2017, the est. population of Puerto Rico was 3,327,917 and found by February 2018, the est. total population to be around 3,048,173. Based on the data, the report states that the total excess mortality post hurricane is est. to be 2,975 people.
CNN reported in early September that the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that The Federal Emergency Management Agency was “so overwhelmed with other storms by the time Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last year that more than half of the workers it was deploying to disasters were known to be unqualified for the jobs they were doing in the field.”
As a result of the GAO report, Brock Long, a FEMA Administrator, told CNN, “We made a lot of changes in real time in addition to the high-level efforts that we learned through our after-action process. Bottom line is, we are concentrating on what we call critical lifelines — health, safety, security. You know, we’ve got food, shelter, health and medical, power and fuel, communications, transportation, hazardous waste.”
President Trump’s tweets come as the Carolinas and other surrounding areas prepare for the impact from Hurricane Florence.
On Tuesday, according to the linked CNN article above, President Trump told reporters from the Oval Office that he thinks Puerto Rico, “was incredibility successful,” noting, as he did on Twitter, that Puerto Rico is an “inaccessible island.” He added, “it was one of the best jobs that’s ever been done with respect to what this is all about.”