On Puerto Rico, Trump Is Right

Mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulin Cruz stands outside of the government center at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum days after Hurricane Maria in San Juan

The mayor of Puerto Rico's capital says President Donald Trump is "delusional" for rejecting the official conclusion 2,975 people died on the island because of Hurricane Maria.

Trump's tweets - which came as a highly unsafe Hurricane Florence churned toward the Carolinas - brought an immediate rebuke from Democrats in Congress.

President Donald Trump's earlier remarks challenging one report's estimate on Puerto Rico deaths from Hurricane Maria were taken to task by the Late Show's Stephen Colbert and the Daily Show's Trevor Noah. "When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths". But that toll should have at least another 1,000 added to it because that's the number of people who died due to debris exposure.

That number was produced by public health experts at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in a report commissioned by the US territory's governor, Ricardo Rossello.

"The aftereffects, people don't talk about that", he said.

Studies estimated the death toll ranged from 800 to more than 4,600. Then, a few weeks ago, a study from George Washington University revised that number to 2,975.

One media outlet where Trump was not subjected to scathing criticism for his Hurricane Maria death toll denials, however, was Fox News, according to a report by ShareBlue. "It wasn't because this president doesn't care about Puerto Rico".

"The job that FEMA and law enforcement and everybody did, working along with the governor in Puerto Rico, I think was tremendous". 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.

In a latest fit of fury, Trump successfully enraged millions of Americans by claiming the nearly 3,000 deaths in Puerto Rico after the devastation caused by two back-to-back hurricanes were fake news.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority leader, said Trump owed an apology to the 3,000 families for "the shameful attack on deceased fellow Americans".

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz tweeted to the president on Thursday: "Shame on you", including a picture of his tweet.

"I think these statements make him illegitimate as a president of the United States", she said. "It is not", she said on her official Twitter account.

Trump's repugnant lies which aim at politicizing a tragedy that claimed thousands of lives is yet another example of the POTUS trying to play the blame game without any proof. But the federal government and its leader bear their share of culpability. The only people who will believe this are the same ones who believe it's not really Trump's voice on the "Access Hollywood" tape in which he is heard bragging about groping women.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello said in a Facebook post in Spanish, "the victims of Puerto Rico, and the people of Puerto Rico in general, do not deserve to be questioned about their pain".

Rossello is a leader of the island's pro-statehood New Progressive Party, which aligns with Republicans, while Cruz is from the Popular Democratic Party, whose members affiliate with the Democratic Party.

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