3,000 dead, but Trump hails Hurricane Maria response as ‘unsung success’


A report from George Washington University and the University of Puerto Rico concluded on August 29 that 2,975 likely died as a result of Hurricane Maria and the catastrophic conditions on the US territory after the storm. He added that it shouldn't be a political issue. "By now we have over four studies that put the death total over the thousands", Dr. Domingo J. Marqués, associate professor of clinical psychology and director of the dialectical behavioral research and therapy program at Albizu University in San Juan, said via email.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump boasted about his administration's response to Maria: "Puerto Rico was incredibly successful", Trump said, pointing to some of the problems the island had before the hurricane.

Puerto Rico was recovering from Hurricane Irma before Hurricane Maria hit in September 2017, destroying roads and bridges and leaving much of the Caribbean island without electricity for months.

"And I gotta say, man, thank you for helping us".

That was not original material, being the remarks made on Fox News by Geraldo Rivera, to whom Trump drew attention in the tweet.

"Now, you know, folks, if you watch the show", Colbert says, "we kid the president about being a bad person".

They said about 4,600 people died in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the hurricane from delayed medical care. "I ask for your vote so that together we can make Washington work for our families".

The study was commissioned by Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, a member of Puerto Rico's "New Progressive Party".

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As Business Insider noted, Trump has been angry that what he saw as a generous gesture is being portrayed as insensitive to the destruction that the hurricane brought to Puerto Rico.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to the GOP majority Thursday calling for the panel to request documents from the White House relating to the Puerto Rico response.

Eye of the storm: An image taken from aboard the International Space Station shows Hurricane Florence approaching the east coast of the US States.

Trump dismissed the findings Thursday, tweeting: "If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list".

In a statement, the GSA Administrator for Puerto Rico, Ottmar Chávez, said FEMA "reported that it had an excess of bottled water in May 2018, before I became the agency's administrator". "You never know, but we know".

George Washington University researchers stood by their study, responding to Trump's tweet by saying the study was carried out "with complete independence and freedom from any kind of interference".

"Only Donald Trump could see the tragedy in Puerto Rico and conclude that he is the victim", said Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat.