Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to the GOP majority Thursday calling for the panel to request documents from the White House relating to the Puerto Rico response. He said the toll was no greater than 18 when he visited the island past year and "did not go up by much". Its inhabitants are US citizens, though they are barred from voting in presidential elections and have only one congressional representative with limited voting powers. They then compared this baseline to the actual number of deaths, and voila!
Researchers at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University determined about 3,000 people died.
He also said that "the victims nor the people of Puerto Rico deserve to have their pain questioned". "And over at Fox News Puerto Rico never happened", she said".
With both parties in Florida looking to draw support from Puerto Rican voters in the November elections and as Hurricane Florence barreled down on the Carolinas, Trump doubled down in a series of tweets Thursday after facing criticism for contending Wednesday the federal government "did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico" after Maria.
Trump, who famously DVRs news programs for later viewing, must have finally caught up with the controversy caused by comments he made on Tuesday in which he said his response to Hurricane Maria was "tremendous".
The Republican president said Democrats had inflated the number of dead in Puerto Rico "in order to make me look as bad as possible" but he did not provide evidence. Cora called Trump's attempt to downplay the deaths caused by Hurricane Maria "disrespectful", according to the Boston Globe. Patt Kessler's Reality Check takes us through the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. The U.S. Government Accountability Office subsequently found numerous failures on the part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, including a lack of trained personnel, equipment and supplies in Puerto Rico.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides doctors with a set of recommendations for counting such deaths as those caused by natural disasters, but the guidelines were nearly never followed by Puerto Rican doctors in the chaos after the storm.
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Another study carried out by Harvard University and published in May estimated the death toll from the hurricane and its aftermath could have been higher than 4,600.
After almost a year of controversy over the figures, the island's governor said the new estimate would now be considered the official death toll.
"To be tweeting about 3,000 people and being efficient, it's actually disrespectful for my country", Cora said.
And FEMA Administrator Brock Long has said FEMA made changes to some of its priorities and procedures.
Trump supporter David Urban tried to defend the president, saying that the president should have said that the government did their best and they intend to do better in the future. She also tweeted, "Damn it: this is NOT about politics this was always about SAVING LIVES". Cruz maintains the federal government's response was slow and inadequate.
Puerto Rico's governor raised the USA territory's official death toll from Hurricane Maria from 64 to 2,975 after an independent study found the number of people who succumbed in the aftermath had been severely undercounted. He also trafficked in racist stereotypes about lazy Latinos by suggesting that people in Puerto Rico "want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort".
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