President Underplays Tragedy in Puerto Rico

Despite the fact that the Puerto Rican government has updated the official death toll to nearly 3,000, Trump still claims the U.S. did “a fantastic job.”

On Wednesday, the Puerto Rican government officially updated its death toll as a result of Hurricane Maria from 64 to nearly 3,000 — a sum almost 46 times greater than previously thought.

When the president visited Puerto Rico following the hurricane, he praised the government for the low death toll and compared it to Hurricane Katrina. Now, the death toll has surpassed that disaster, as well.

“Yeah, I think Puerto Rico—I think we did a fantastic job in Puerto Rico. We’re still helping Puerto Rico. The governor is an excellent guy. And he is very happy with the job we’ve done. We have put billions and billions of dollars into Puerto Rico. And it was a very tough one. Don’t forget their electric plant was dead before the hurricane. If you look back on your records, you’ll see that that plant was dead, it was shut, it was bankrupt, it was out of business. They owed tremendous amounts of money. They had it closed up. And then, when the hurricane came, people said, ‘What are we going to do about electricity?’ That wasn’t really the hurricane; that was gone before the hurricane. But we’ve—we’ve put a lot of money and a lot of effort into Puerto Rico. And I think most of the people in Puerto Rico really appreciate what we’ve done.”  — Trump

His claims about the island’s electrical system are patently false; the plant only lost power after the storm made landfall.

Mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulín Cruz quickly responded to the president’s comments in an interview on MSNBC.

“This is like telling somebody that’s gone through a fire that it’s their fault, that they didn’t run fast enough. No, it is your fault, Mr. President. Shame on yourself and your administration. You led us here to die because you were more concerned about the political spin than about the human reality that we were dying. And now that number, 2,975, will follow him wherever he goes for the rest of his life.”  — Cruz

Iron Triangle Press will continue to follow the situation in Puerto Rico.

To read more about the studies that let to the new death toll, click here.


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