Trump complicates Florida GOP's play for Puerto Rican voters

Adjust Comment Print

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday rejected a scholarly study that concluded almost 3,000 people were killed past year by Hurricane Maria on the island territory of Puerto Rico.

Mr Trump, referring to Hurricane Florence which is about to hit America's east coast, tweeted earlier this week: "We got A Pluses for our current hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan)".

"As time went by it did not go up by much", Trump wrote.

"The sad truth is that in trying so hard to make sure that the hurricane did not become 'Trump's Katrina, ' we lost far more lives", he continued, claiming that "more people died in Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico than died in Hurricane Katrina, and than died in the attacks of 9/11".

Last May, Harvard University public health researchers published a study that estimated the death toll was even higher.

"We left this analysis to the scientists and experts, recognising that there would be many challenges, because we wanted to have a powerful and independent voice to minimise the uncertainty", he said in a video on Facebook.

Navarro said Thursday that that was because the president's tweets were politically damaging for those associated with him.

"If (Trump) doesn't learn from his mistakes, he's going to make them again and people are going to continue to die", she told CNN television.

The death toll is drawn from multiple scientific studies.

He added: "I've been to Puerto Rico 7 times & saw devastation firsthand".

Ramos told ABC he's not sure how long the bottles have been sitting there, but a report from the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration says FEMA made a delivery of "excess bottled water" in April.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who publicly pleaded with Trump for a stronger response to the storm, also blasted the president. Trump didn't think it was accurate.

As one hurricane comes toward the U.S., President Trump is fighting back criticism over how his administration handled the last major hurricane.

After discussing the political impact of the comment that has largely drawn bipartisan debunking, Mike Barnicle summed it up best "Let's say I am running in the state of MS, you got a good economy".

"There are Puerto Ricans who moved to Florida, who could actually make or break statewide elections in Florida in 2018", she said.

In the wake of the media reporting on Trump's tweet, George Washington University released a statement saying it stood by the science in the study.

We should note the response to Hurricane Maria was made especially challenging by these one-off factors: It was the third major hurricane of the season, it struck outside the continental USA, and Puerto Rico's electric grid and financial situation was already in disarray.

In January, Cora led a Red Sox delegation to Puerto Rico to distribute aid.