Oxfam America Issues Statement on President Trump Comments on Puerto Rico

14 September, 2018, 18:16 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • Oxfam America Issues Statement on President Trump Comments on Puerto Rico

Mr Trump said yesterday the death toll had only been 18 when he visited the United States territory shortly after the storm, and claimed the higher figure had been inflated by the Democrats to "make him look bad".

Trump tweeted the estimated death toll, provided by the Puerto Rican governor's office and based on the findings of an independent study, erroneously counted deaths from old age in the number of clear casualties of the hurricane.

The report came almost a year after a much-maligned visit to Puerto Rico by Trump two weeks after Maria, where he implied that residents should be "proud" that the official death toll at the time was just 16 people, far lower than that of a "real catastrophe, like Katrina". They then compared this baseline to the actual number of deaths, and voila!

As the southeastern USA coastal states now face a looming threat from fast-approaching Hurricane Florence, Trump has for days revisited the US government's performance in handling the aftermath of Maria's stunning blow to Puerto Rico and other hurricanes that hit the US mainland past year.

"What is offensive to many of us is that even though the president dropped the ball, he is now doing a victory dance in the end zone".

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"We agree that no estimates regarding loss of life have been inflated and we remain focused on ensuring a full recovery for the island and creating more economic opportunities for those arriving in Florida", Cortes said in an email.

He was reacting to President Donald Trump's tweets that dispute the projected death toll from Hurricane Maria a year ago.

Cora, who was born in Puerto Rico, took issue with those comments. "We are professionals of public health".

Trump was widely panned for his insensitive tweets.

San Juan mayor and frequent Trump critic Carmen Yulín Cruz tweeted in response to the president, "This is what denial following neglect looks like: Mr Pres in the real world people died on your watch".

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There has been no evidence to indicate that partisan politics has played a role in the calculation of the death tally, and George Washington University released a statement Thursday that said it stands by its work.

"The fact that the president will not take responsibility for his administration's failures and will not even recognize that thousands have perished shows us, once again, that he is not fit to serve as our president, " Thompson said.

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. Full power was restored in Puerto Rico following last year's storm only last month. "It was just such a powerful storm", the congressman said, adding that he believes Trump "has been, I think, overly criticized for his response". "I think it's about a country that really suffered", Cora said.

Cora did credit the president for making a visit to Puerto Rico after the storm.

Cora called Trump's attempt to downplay the deaths caused by Hurricane Maria "disrespectful", according to the Boston Globe.

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