Trump Spreads Lies And Conspiracy Theories About Deaths From Hurricane Maria

President Trump is apparently a Hurricane Maria Truther.

As a major hurricane that forecasters believe will lead to historic flooding in the North and South Carolina bears down on the United States, Donald Trump took to Twitter this morning to dispute, without evidence, independent studies that place the death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria last year at nearly 3,000 people:

President Trump on Thursday falsely accused Democrats of inflating the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year, rejecting a government assessment that the storm had claimed nearly 3,000 lives.

Mr. Trump inaccurately stated that only six to 18 people died “after” the storm hit the island and said Democrats padded the death toll by including, for example, a person who died of old age “in order to make me look as bad as possible.”

The president’s comments came as the government prepared for Hurricane Florence, whose high winds were already beginning to batter the coast of the Carolinas.

Hurricanes typically provide a platform for elected officials to display leadership and strength. And a poor response, such as the government’s during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, can do significant damage to approval ratings. The federal government’s response to the storm that hit Puerto Rico has been viewed as inadequate — full power was restored to homesjust this month.

Mr. Trump took to Twitter this week to warn residents in the path of Hurricane Florence to follow the advice of local officials and to be prepared.

And on Wednesday, Mr. Trump repeated his assessment that his team got high marks for the responses to hurricanes in 2017 and called the mayor of San Juan, who has been critical of Mr. Trump, “totally incompetent.”

Mr. Trump was criticized last year for a slow response to Puerto Rico, where the distribution of supplies, gas and food lagged and power outages lasted for months, particularly compared with a swift and efficient response to an earlier hurricane, Harvey, that hit Texas. It was six days after Hurricane Maria hit the island before he pledged to go there, even as he traveled to Texas four days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall.

The death toll in Puerto Rico had been officially recorded as 64 for nearly a year, despite convincing evidence that the figure was too low because official death certificates had failed to take into account the long-range impacts of the storm. In August, after a thorough review, Puerto Rican officials accepted a revised estimate of the dead as 2,975.

Mr. Trump’s Twitter screed was the latest in a string of callous remarks he has made about the deaths in Puerto Rico, which have caused even some of his allies to cringe. In an interview on Wednesday, Thomas Bossert, Mr. Trump’s former homeland security adviser, conceded that the president’s self-congratulation about his handling of the storms in Puerto Rico should have been tempered with compassion.

“The missing part was empathy,” Mr. Bossert said. “I wish he’d paused and expressed that, instead of just focusing on the response success.”

Here are the President’s Tweets about Puerto Rico from yesterday and this morning:

Philip Bump at The Washington Post points out why the President’s claims are obviously untrue:

Shortly after the storm struck the island, The Post spoke with University of Delaware professors Joe Trainor and Benigno Aguirre, who work with the school’s Disaster Recovery Center. We wondered how difficult it would be to determine the actual number of deaths from the storm, and Trainor and Aguirre confirmed that it was far from trivial.

“The reality is, we probably will never know” precisely how many people were killed by the storm, Trainor said. The government itself doesn’t tally this number, relying on death certificates filed by coroners in local jurisdictions. Leon’s death, for example, wasn’t attributed to Maria; it was initially attributed to “diabetes” until the family requested that the document be corrected.

“If the hurricane happened on day one and the death happens two or three days after or during it, it’s more likely those deaths will be counted as a result of the hurricane,” Aguirre said. “On the other hand, if it happened two or three weeks afterward, then you have the problem that perhaps it’s not the case there’s a relationship.” Leon’s case is more obvious than others. If someone has a chronic illness and misses a medication, what’s the cause?

This is in part why the Puerto Rican government accepted the George Washington University research. It assessed how many more deaths there were on the island relative to a normal year for the six months after the storm, reaching that figure of nearly 3,000 additional deaths. It’s not a precise figure, instead representing the most likely value from a range of possible death tolls.

That six-month period of research was longer than normal, incidentally, with researchers anticipating that, by the end of that period, death rates would revert to normal. In lower-income areas, they said at a news conference, those rates were still elevated six months later. That they looked at six months of data is precisely why their analysis was available only “a long time later.”

This is also why Trump’s argument that those who died of old age were just “add[ed] onto the list” is wrong. There is no list. There is a comparison between the number of deaths on the island in the period after Maria and the number of deaths during a normal equivalent period on the island.

(…)

Trump is taking advantage of the uncertainty, of that gray area for a different sort of political benefit. He wants to undercut questions about the government’s handling of the storm and, having established death toll as a metric for doing that by comparing Maria to Hurricane Katrina — in which more than 1,000 fewer people are estimated to have died — during his visit to the island, he wants to make that death toll seem artificial. It is an estimate. It is not an estimate determined by Democrats.

It’s also worth noting that, in his visit to the island, Trump was told explicitly that the official toll at that point was 16. His tweet suggesting it was as low as six by the time he left makes clear that he is not interested in presenting an accurate picture of the effects of the storm on the island.

We don’t know exactly how many people were killed as a result of the storm and there’s probably no way to know that figure with precision. Trump’s implication that the estimate of deaths was wildly overstated for political reasons is the mirror opposite of reality.

Trump is clearly wildly understating the death toll for political reasons.

Almost immediately, the President’s tweets this morning faced push back on Twitter from pundits, American citizens, and perhaps most notably the Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, who had sparred with Trump in the aftermath of the storm last year:

And Daniel Larison adds this:

Trump cannot grasp that the massive loss of life in Puerto Rico is far more important than his political reputation, and so he has to make all of it about him and his political enemies. He also apparently can’t understand that the greatest loss of life from natural disasters can sometimes take place after the initial event. The official death toll in Puerto Rico remained artificially low for such a long time because the government there would not certify a death until the body had been seen by the medical examiner, and for the thousands of victims that was not possible when transportation and communications around the island had been made difficult or impossible by storm damage. Many people were losing their lives on account of the shortages in medicine, loss of power, lack of clean drinking water, heat, and lack of medical care. Those deaths weren’t being registered, but they happened nonetheless, and they happened as a result of the hurricane. Even before these studies were released, there were reports of more than 900 deaths following the hurricane. As it turned out, the loss of life was far worse.

Because the official death toll was a low number, Trump seized on it as vindication. He clings to it even now because he still thinks that the inadequate federal response was an “unsung success,” as he said earlier this week. As usual, he is incapable of acknowledging and taking responsibility for the government’s failures that took place under him, and so he tells stupid, easily refuted lies instead.

All of this comes in the wake of a report that examined deaths and other statistics from Puerto Rico in the wake of Maria and found that the official death toll, which stood at just 64 up until just a few weeks ago, was wildly inaccurate because it did not include deaths resulting from the damage from the storm, including things such as long-term power loss and a lack of clean water that has taken nearly a year to fully address. That report put the actual death toll at 2,975 people, a number that the Puerto Rican government has officially accepted, and which makes Maria one of the worst natural disasters to hit the United States in our history. An earlier report using slightly different methodology put the toll even higher, estimating that the actual death toll from the storm is somewhere in the range of 4,600 people. Whatever the number, it is most assuredly higher than the 64 total deaths that had been the official death toll and the “6 to 18 deaths” that the President seems to officially acknowledge in his tweet.

As if denying the reality of the deaths of nearly 3,000 American citizens, the President used his tweet to spread the idea that these new death toll figures are part of some conspiracy against him. In addition to the callous disregard this shows for the people who died, it provides yet another glimpse inside the mind of this President, and what we see isn’t pretty. This is a man who sees conspiracies around every corner, denies any possibility of wrongdoing or mistakes on this part or the part of his Administration, and who is willing to blatantly lie for political purposes. I’d say that it’s shocking but, considering who we’re dealing with, it’s not shocking at all.

The person quoted at the end of the excerpt I posted from The New York Times hit the nail on the head. Any human being with the slightest degree of empathy would not have said what the President did this morning. Most assuredly, they would not say it at the same time that another serious and potentially historic storm bears down on the East Coast of the United States. That’s exactly the point, though. Going back to long before he was a candidate for President, Donald Trump has demonstrated quite aptly that he has no empathy whatsoever for his fellow human beings. The only thing he cares about is what others can do for him or for his benefit and if it is necessary to walk over the graves of people to benefit himself politically, personally, and financially, then he’s perfectly willing to do just that. Perhaps he cares about his immediate family, but given the way he has treated his former wives and the well-documented hands-off approach he took to parenting, one has to wonder about that as well. Taking all that into account, the fact that he would respond to the catastrophe in Puerto Rico in such an insane and self-centered way, while it is shocking, cannot be seen as being all that surprising. It’s vintage Donald Trump, and it’s what the 62 million people who voted for him in 2016 signed up for. If they’re complaining or outraged now, they have only themselves to blame.

 

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Natural Disasters, Politicians, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Kylopod says:

    In short, the only difference between Trump and a Holocaust denier is the target.

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  2. Mister Bluster says:

    He’s a sick fvck. What else can you say?

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  3. Gustopher says:

    I remember when the Republicans were all up in arms because Obama referred to empathy as one of Sonia Sotomayor’s strengths when nominating her to the Supreme Court. I had assumed that this was a meaningless outrage du jour.

    But, I guess the really meant it, as they went out of their way to nominate and elect the least empathetic man possible.

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  4. James Pearce says:

    Surprise, surprise. POTUS posts more garbage on Twitter.

    This man has no business being president of this country. He’s whiny, unprofessional, vain, and ultimately pathetic. I challenge any Republican voter to deny it.

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  5. John430 says:

    In other news, just about ALL of the estimated figures are statistical bullshit. One study “estimated” the extreme high and extreme low numbers of fatalities and then picked the middle as the “actual” number.

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  6. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher:

    I had assumed that this was a meaningless outrage du jour.

    Not at all. I mean, sure, there was always an element of partisan hypocrisy in those kinds of attacks, but the war on empathy goes way back. Some conservatives complained about Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” (which was a sham, but never mind), but at the time he was actually president, these criticisms rarely amounted to more than grumbling. After he left office and the Tea Party arose, it pretty much completely rejected the notion that compassion and empathy were positive qualities. So when Glenn Beck et al attacked Obama for praising empathy, it wasn’t just a partisan cheap shot, it reflected their outlook.

    Of course, there is a difference between being philosophically opposed to empathy and actually lacking it in one’s personality. Trump is hardly the first politician in the latter category. What sets him apart is how little he does to fake it. That’s the most important sense in which he’s a culmination of what we were seeing during the Obama years.

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  7. Franklin says:

    @James Pearce: Agreed, but is this the real James Pearce? Your tone seems different and your avatar changed!

    /from someone who’s never bothered to put up an avatar at all …

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  8. Franklin says:

    @John430: Let me guess, you’ve never taken a class in statistics and just grabbed the latest spin from WND or something.

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  9. tm01 says:

    The bigger lie was blaming Trump for all the logistics problems while ignoring the sub-par infrastructure that was there before the storm, ignoring the corruption and incompetence of the local officials, local officials withholding needed supplies, etc.

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  10. Hal_10000 says:

    I try not to get sucked into the Twitter Outrage of the day but … Jesus.

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  11. Mikey says:

    Chef Jose Andres–a private citizen–flew to Puerto Rico a couple days after the hurricane and headed up an effort that cooked and distributed THREE MILLION meals on what Trump laughably called “an inaccessible island.”

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  12. James Pearce says:

    @Franklin:

    Agreed, but is this the real James Pearce? Your tone seems different and your avatar changed!

    It’s the real me and no, same ole tone.

    Trump tweets are “garbage.” Trump is “unprofessional” not “sex-misogyn-racist” My approach is about driving a wedge between Trump and his supporters, not sending them rushing into his arms.

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  13. mattbernius says:

    @tm01 & @John430:
    So you’re saying that you think Trump was wrong when he tweeted in 2012:

    The federal gov. has handled Sandy worse than Katrina. There is no excuse why people don’t have electricity or fuel yet.

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/265924424623075328

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  14. SenyorDave says:

    @Kylopod: Agreed, he’s an evil POS. If he thought it would play well with his supporters he’d be linking to Holocaust denial sites in a heartbeat. he has already re-tweeted from racist, far-right European sites.

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  15. Mister Bluster says:

    @John430:..ALL of the estimated figures are statistical bullshit.

    That would include Republican President Pork Chop Pud’s claim of 6 to 18.
    But you will back up his lyin’ ass on those totally outrageous numbers won’t you John.

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  16. Mister Bluster says:

    @James Pearce:..the real me

    That’s not you. It’s Chevy Chase!

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  17. SenyorDave says:

    @John430: In other news, just about ALL of the estimated figures are statistical bullshit.

    You mean the same sort of statistical bullshit used for almost all medical research, where statistical tests are used to determine whether drugs or procedures are effective. Or in business, where they use failure rates of components and come up with acceptable ranges of tolerance. Or in finance, where Monte Carlo simulations are used to determine whether retirement portfolios are adequate.
    Do you just automatically regurgitate every Fox talking point?

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  18. Paul L. says:

    sepsis , pneumonia, emphysema , diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s deaths are directly caused by Hurricanes.

    Every death in Puerto Rico that occurred during and after Hurricane Maria regardless of cause or how little it was the result of the Hurricane Maria and is Trump’s fault.

    The Hurricane Maria death toll increases by 70 people every day.

    Comparing average monthly deaths to the reported deaths in 2017, The New York Times calculated an increase of 1,052 fatalities in the 42 days following Maria compared to previous years. Significant spikes in causes of deaths compared to the two preceding Septembers included sepsis (+47%), pneumonia (+45%), emphysema (+43%), diabetes (+31%), and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (+23%)

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  19. Paul L. says:

    @Franklin:

    How to calculate from the study
    Hurricane Maria death toll = Deaths in Puerto Rico in 2017 – Minimum Number of Deaths in Puerto Rico for a year from 2016 – 2000.
    Do not need a list of the dead with the cause of death.

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  20. Kathy says:

    I’d say that it’s shocking but, considering who we’re dealing with, it’s not shocking at all.

    What’s shocking is that about 30% of the country believes Trump to be honest.

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  21. Kylopod says:

    @SenyorDave:

    If he thought it would play well with his supporters he’d be linking to Holocaust denial sites in a heartbeat.

    That is scarcely hypothetical; he has already retweeted from white nationalists who very likely deny the Holocaust, including one with the hashtag #WhiteGenocide and another with a graphic of “Crooked Hillary” next to a Star of David atop a pile of cash. It’s true he hasn’t yet actually linked to a Holocaust denial claim–though his administration did release a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day 2017 that didn’t mention Jews (probably the work of Bannon, I’m presuming), which was pretty much a dogwhistle to Holocaust deniers.

    Trump plays it coy when it comes to the Jooz (he still has the Bibi-Adelson part of his coalition to worry about), but there really is no difference here in terms of derangement and racism. He might as well be denying the Holocaust; it’s the same sort of thing, where he just denies an official estimate, alleges a mass conspiracy where none exists, and where his enablers try to get us all bogged down in the inherent imprecisions of counting the number of dead. Every single argument we’re hearing in this thread from the Trumpists has echoes from Holocaust “revisionists.”

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  22. Kylopod says:

    Here’s one example to illustrate the parallels: I remember reading an article about a Holocaust denier some years back, and he was quoted saying that Anne Frank could not be counted among the Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis, since she wasn’t murdered, she died of typhoid.

    Now look at the argument from Paul L. earlier in this thread.

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  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    No, no, everything is juuuuuust fine:

    After the alleged roleplay, Woodward said that Dowd told Trump “you cannot testify, you are disabled.”

    “Imagine your lawyer telling you ‘you’re disabled’ and you can’t testify because you can’t tell the truth. You just make things up,” Woodward added.

    Colbert then read the last line of the journalist’s book: “Dowd knew he couldn’t bring himself to say to the president, ‘You’re a fucking liar.’”

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  24. James Pearce says:

    @Mister Bluster: It’s a pic of Chevy Chase playing Pierce Hawthorne, but it’s the same old PEArce.

    @Paul L.:

    Every death in Puerto Rico that occurred during and after Hurricane Maria regardless of cause or how little it was the result of the Hurricane Maria and is Trump’s fault.

    All of the deaths were from Democrats trying to make Trump look bad. I saw it on Official Government Twitter. Trump loves Puerto Rico like his wives.

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  25. Hal_10000 says:

    @Paul L.:

    What they are doing is comparing death rates after the hurricane to death rates before. This is standard practice for measuring the impact of a disaster because sometimes the effects unfold over months or years. A disaster like Maria puts stress on people and systems and if not responded to will result in more deaths.

    If you get in a car accident, spend six months in the hospital and die of an infection, the car accident still killed you.

    When James Brady died 30 years after being shot from complications from the ongoing wounds, it was classified as a homicide.

    When 9/11 victims and responders died years later of illnesses contracted at the site, we added them to the death toll.

    If someone in Puerto Rico develops sepsis as a result of the hospitals being destroyed, the hurricane still killed them.

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  26. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @John430: Why don’t you astound us with your superior knowedge of statistical methods as applied to death statistics? I suspect the day Agent Orange shuffles off this mortal coil will become a holiday in Puerto Rico.

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  27. Paul L. says:

    @Hal_10000:

    When 9/11 victims and responders died years later of illnesses contracted at the site, we added them to the death toll.

    Nope, the 3,000 number has been static and used to indicate that Hurricane Maria was worst.
    Wiki and the 9/11 Memorial use it,

    The National September 11 Memorial is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the 2,977 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993.

    Still Waiting for this prediction to come true.
    “Pardon, Resign, Flee. That’s the closest thing to a good move for Trump now.”

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  28. the Q says:

    “If they’re complaining or outraged now, they have only Hillary/deep state/fake media to blame.
    There, I fixed it for ya.

    As for John430, maybe he smoked too much 420. So, in John’s world, they just threw at a dart board and voila – 3,000 deaths, all just to embarrass a moronic President?

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  29. Jen says:

    @Paul L.: Yes and no.

    The number of those killed directly, on that day of the attacks remains static. But the CDC is tracking thousands who have had delayed health responses. What we are looking at now, 17 years later, are deaths from associated cancers: https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/18/health/9-11-fbi-cancer/index.html

    And they absolutely do count as 9/11-caused deaths.

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  30. Gustopher says:

    @Hal_10000:

    If someone in Puerto Rico develops sepsis as a result of the hospitals being destroyed, the hurricane still killed them.

    And if the hospital was not built to withstand a hurricane, in an area that is prone to hurricanes, is that a local, territory, or federal failure?

    Puerto Rico, if it were a state, would be by far the poorest state (it would be one of the wealthiest island countries in the Caribbean, however, just to put that into perspective). The infrastructure was weak long before the hurricane hit.

    I’m comfortable with the 3,000 number being a reasonably accurate estimate of the deaths. I’m not comfortable with saying that all 3,000 were on Trump’s tiny hands, as a lot of the causes can be said to stretch back decades. Poor response screwed things up so that not as many lives were saved as could have been.

    I’m not sure assigning blame does any good in these things at all. It makes people dig in their heels and defend the inadequacies of the system as being pretty good, an unsung success, rather than trying to address them.

    I do find it appalling that Trump is lying about the deaths, and making this all about his ego. By not pushing for a thorough review, he is ensuring that the preventable deaths of the next disaster are on his tiny hands, and he is being a terrible manager.

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  31. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @John430:
    @tm01:
    You two ass-hats are defending what is indefensible, on multiple levels, simply because you are so invested in the con that you cannot even fathom that you are being conned. It’s kind of amazing to see really.
    Most of us realize that when Dennison said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and his supporters wouldn’t care, he was ridiculing his supporters for being so incredibly fvcking stupid. You two, and your friends JKB and Bunge and Guarneri, take it as a badge of honor that you refuse to question your cult leader.
    Here is a hint to help you thru life…obsequiousness is not a redeeming quality.

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  32. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Gustopher:

    By not pushing for a thorough review, he is ensuring that the preventable deaths of the next disaster are on his tiny hands, and he is being a terrible manager.

    I think it’s even worse that Congress is abdicating it’s role in oversight. Ryan will be laughed at by history…the worst Speaker in history.

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  33. grumpy realist says:

    Updates on Hurricane Florence: Has been downgraded to Category 2, but on the other hand is expected to bring even more rainfall, so matters haven’t improved that much.

    Predicted track of Florence.

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  34. grumpy realist says:

    Another nice possible present from Hurricane Florence: arsenic and heavy metal poisoning from dispersed fly ash.

    But Teh Free Market will take care of all of those problems, right?

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  35. Paul L. says:

    @Jen:
    Maybe there should be a Government website that tracks the associated deaths from disasters.
    Or just the ones that occurred when a Republican was President run by Democrats.

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  36. James Pearce says:

    @Paul L.:

    Nope, the 3,000 number has been static and used to indicate that Hurricane Maria was worst.

    There was a post not too long ago that linked to a report explaining why the death toll increased. It was mostly because a lot of people died during the hurricane, and no one knew until the paperwork came in.

    It’s not an estimate. They have the death certificates now.

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  37. teve tory says:

    Historically fewer than 2,500 Puerto Ricans die in a given month. In the six months before the storm around ~2,250 Puerto Ricans died per month. In September 2017 that number went over 2,900. In October it hit 3,000. In November it was around 2,600.

    Trumpers don’t math good.

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  38. Paul L. says:

    @James Pearce:
    If you are to reference something, you should quote or link to it directly.
    Where is list of dead in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria with the cause of death.
    @Kylopod:
    Puerto Rico is the same as a Nazi concentration camp.
    No one can leave and their days are managed by guards,
    But remember in the US, the guards are not responsible for any deaths that occurs in a prison.

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  39. James Pearce says:

    @Paul L.: I would have, but the OTB archives are a mess. GWU did the study. I’m mobile so dont have the link. Google will find it.

    Also, it IS an estimate. But I do remember reading about how the estimate kept going up as the death certificates came in.

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  40. Paul L. says:

    @teve tory:
    CDC lists Puerto Rico had 28,085 deaths in 2015
    Where are you getting the number of deaths by month? How does it compare to the previous years?

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  41. Hal_10000 says:

    @Gustopher:

    No, it’s not all Trump’s fault. Puerto Rico has been run badly for decades and has been the victim of terrible mainland policy (e.g., the Jones Act). The government of Puerto Rico certainly bears some responsibility for what happened.

    But that’s *not* the point of Trump’s tweets. His tweet was to pretend that this disaster didn’t happen or was far worse than it was. Because his skin is so paper then, any bad news triggers his rage.

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  42. teve tory says:

    @teve tory:
    CDC lists Puerto Rico had 28,085 deaths in 2015
    Where are you getting the number of deaths by month?

    Your mom.

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  43. Tyrell says:

    @grumpy realist: I was vacationing at one of the SC beaches a couple of months ago. Many people are unaware that there is this neat thing called the Inland Waterway; a type of man made river that runs the eastern seaboard from New York to Florida. It is just a few minutes from the beach. There are many hotels, docks, restaurants, and shops. The point is that this is a nice alternative to evacuating in a car, if you have a boat. I saw some of the boats and yachts when we went to a restaurant at the waterway: some simply took your breath away.

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  44. Mister Bluster says:

    @Pearce:..Pierce Hawthorn

    It is time for me to stop revealing my weaknesses to the world.
    My eyes are so bad that I could not see that your avatar is Chevy Chase.
    My TV at home doesn’t get any channels so I have not viewed Community.
    Is he as funny as he was on Saturday Night Live with Richard Pryor?

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  45. James Pearce says:

    @Paul L.: Here is the study.

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  46. James Pearce says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Is he as funny as he was on Saturday Night Live with Richard Pryor?

    No. His character is terrible.

    I am nothing like him, but people keep calling me Pierce, perhaps an allusion to this character, and I’m, well, irascible so I changed my pic. I’ll probably change it again.

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  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod:

    (which was a sham, but never mind),

    Still, it was pushing enough tax money away from the top and toward the bottom to upset them.

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  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Do you just automatically regurgitate every Fox talking point?

    You really need to ask?

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  49. gVOR08 says:

    Trump Spreads Lies And Conspiracy Theories About Deaths From Hurricane Maria

    And why would Hurricane Maria be different from everything else?

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  50. teve tory says:

    Puerto Rico, if it were a state, would be by far the poorest state (it would be one of the wealthiest island countries in the Caribbean, however, just to put that into perspective).

    It’s hard to be rich when every time you construct something a hurricane comes along 6 months later and deconstructs it. 😛

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