3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2018
There’s growing sentiment that this is the worst tweet by Trump ever. Fierce competition, for sure.
Sober as the New York Times is in reporting Trump’s latest big lie, it still represents in characterizing him how low we’ve sunk.
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.”
Full power was restored in Puerto Rico following last year’s storm only last month.
Is he an insensitive boob? Even his own administration suggest as much.
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.”