Donald Trump lies about the devastating death toll in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria
With the southeast coast facing Hurricane Florence in the days to come, Donald Trump decided to do what he does best — nothing even remotely helpful. Instead of preparing a large portion of the United States with words of assurance, he had a Twitter meltdown over the Puerto Rico death toll in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria last year.
He’s lying to the world about it by denying it altogether.
Earlier this summer, it was estimated 2,975 people died in Puerto Rico during the five months following Hurricane Maria. The storm devasted the entire island last September, and the death toll is massively greater than the U.S. government’s official death toll count of 64. Many people laid blame at the feet of Donald Trump, who all but refused to do anything to assist the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico during their time of crisis.
And now he’s proving that no matter how low he’s capable of sinking — and that bar is pretty damn low as it is — he can always go lower.
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
…..This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2018
He claims the most recent death toll, conducted by George Washington University’s Milken Institute of Public Health, and commissioned by island officials for more than $300,000, is, essentially “fake news” put forth by Democrats. “I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico,” he babbles. “If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them to the list.”
According to the independent report, the number of excess deaths, which took place from Sept. 2017 to Feb. 2018, represent a 22% increase from what would have been expected during that time period.— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 13, 2018
Look, no one is surprised to hear Trump refuse to take accountability for the tragic deaths of nearly 3,000 people. Anyone who feels perfectly valid executing the inhumane torture of locking innocent children inside cages away from their parents is beyond redemption.
Watching him continue to pave the path down the wrong side of history by denying 3,000 people lived and breathed and then died — most of them as a direct result of lack of preparation and post-storm assistance from the Trump administration — is enraging. Up until this point, we all just assumed he didn’t care that thousands of people died after Hurricane Maria.
Today, he proved that’s not the case. Today, he’s saying he doesn’t believe those deaths happened at all.
Donald Trump is using his position of power to perpetuate a false narrative. To present his propaganda as fact to the American people who voted for him, despite every possible piece of evidence to the contrary. And you know what? This is how we got stuck with him in the first place. Because so many people are desperate and willing to believe anything that allows them to continue living in a dystopia where racism and classism are accepted as the norm.
But not everyone is buying what he’s selling.
No death is partisan and our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico deserved better from @realDonaldTrump before, during, and after the hurricane.
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) September 13, 2018
Benghazi: 4 Americans died. Conservatives obsess over it for 6 years because they claim Hillary Clinton messed up and lied about it.
Puerto Rico: 3,000 Americans died. Conservatives apparently don’t care at all that Donald Trump messed up and lied about it.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) September 13, 2018
In the 10 months after Hurricane Maria, over 2k Puerto Ricans applied for funeral assistance. Mothers, fathers, grandparents. They died without water, without electricity, & without a President who cares about the safety and well-being of ALL US citizens. https://t.co/0Uhf5gMRKL— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) September 13, 2018
The island had a total infrastructure collapse. Patients languished in hospitals without power. Damaged roads made it impossible for people to get dialysis. Medical specialists were virtually nonexistent. We know because we've talked to these families https://t.co/nZIVkfpSPc https://t.co/cY7DIIq1FG
— Samantha Schmidt (@schmidtsam7) September 13, 2018
Trump let thousands die in Puerto Rico because of his own racism and now he’s engaging in a form of Holocaust denialism about it.
— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) September 13, 2018
Carmen Yulín Cruz, mayor of San Juan, responded to Trump’s horrifying Twitter meltdown.
“This is what denial following neglect looks like,” she writes on Twitter. She admonished Trump and his lack of respect as “appalling,” and then cut right to the meat of it. “Simply put: delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality.” I’d say that about sums it up. It’s terrifying that this type of person is in charge of a country — a country facing countless unfolding crises every single day, but also a major hurricane any minute now.
During a time when our country’s leader is so clearly unglued and dangerous, it’s difficult to navigate our actions and emotions where they need to be in order to incite change. Sometimes it’s difficult to see yet another maddening Trump headline and muster up the energy to care.
But here’s one thing we need to remember when trying to drown out the noise and focus on what matters: the truth is non-negotiable. Always.