Published On: Fri, Sep 14th, 2018

Trump retweets Lou Dobbs saying Puerto Rico death toll was ‘inflated’

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Trump is standing by his claims that the Puerto Rico death roll was exaggerated by Democrats, retweeting a clip of Fox’s Lou Dobbs defending his views.

Speaking on Fox News, Dobbs targeted the study that reported the 3,000 death toll which was published by George Washington University last month.  

‘The president, by the way, is right…The numbers were inflated and the president was right to call out the organizations who threw out science, statistics, and evidence to discredit the Trump administration,’ he said on Thursday. 

Dobbs revealed that the study, conducted by the Milken Institute estimated ‘excess deaths’ that occurred from Hurricane Maria, not an accurate death toll.

Trump is standing by claim that Puerto Rico's 3,000 death toll number is inflated and retweeted a segment by Fox News' Lou Dobbs backing his statement on Thursday 

Trump is standing by claim that Puerto Rico's 3,000 death toll number is inflated and retweeted a segment by Fox News' Lou Dobbs backing his statement on Thursday 

Trump is standing by claim that Puerto Rico’s 3,000 death toll number is inflated and retweeted a segment by Fox News’ Lou Dobbs backing his statement on Thursday 

In his segment, Dobbs said: 'The numbers were inflated and the president was right to call out the organizations who threw out science, statistics, and evidence to discredit the Trump administration'

In his segment, Dobbs said: 'The numbers were inflated and the president was right to call out the organizations who threw out science, statistics, and evidence to discredit the Trump administration'

In his segment, Dobbs said: ‘The numbers were inflated and the president was right to call out the organizations who threw out science, statistics, and evidence to discredit the Trump administration’

Dobbs analyzed the report noting how it did not cite a death toll count, a body count, nor a study of death certificates

Dobbs analyzed the report noting how it did not cite a death toll count, a body count, nor a study of death certificates

Dobbs analyzed the report noting how it did not cite a death toll count, a body count, nor a study of death certificates

Early Thursday Trump vented on Twitter that the 3,000 was inflated and exaggerated

Early Thursday Trump vented on Twitter that the 3,000 was inflated and exaggerated

Early Thursday Trump vented on Twitter that the 3,000 was inflated and exaggerated

He claimed the exaggeration was engineered by Democrats to portray the president in a bad light following Hurricane Maria and Irma

He claimed the exaggeration was engineered by Democrats to portray the president in a bad light following Hurricane Maria and Irma

He claimed the exaggeration was engineered by Democrats to portray the president in a bad light following Hurricane Maria and Irma

‘The finding wasn’t a result of a death toll count, a body count, nor a study of death certificates, but a public health study that subtracted the number of people who theoretically should have died over the same period from the number of people who were reported dead over that period,’ Dobbs said.  

He added that following the Milken Institute’s report, Puerto Rico’s governor amended the number of dead from a prior count of 64 to 3,000. 

Lynn Goldman, the dean of the Milken Institute School of Public Health, shared the study’s results to CNN last month but said more work was needed for an accurate estimate.

While the number may not be as high as 3,000, the Puerto Rican government admitted the official toll was higher than the December 2017 tally of 64. 

In a Congress report documents said 1,427 more deaths than normal occurred over the past four months after Hurricane Maria and Irma, compared to death tolls over the previous four years. 

On Thursday morning the president exploded on Twitter saying the reported 3,000 Puerto Rico hurricane aftermath death toll was inflated and exaggerated.  

President Donald Trump now says the accepted death toll from hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico in 2017 is inflated – and claims Democrats are leveraging the number ‘to make me look bad’

Puerto Ricans were left to dig themselves out of debris in the wake of Hurricane Maria last year in dangerous conditions after losing power, running water and cell phone service

Puerto Ricans were left to dig themselves out of debris in the wake of Hurricane Maria last year in dangerous conditions after losing power, running water and cell phone service

Puerto Ricans were left to dig themselves out of debris in the wake of Hurricane Maria last year in dangerous conditions after losing power, running water and cell phone service

‘3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,’ Trump tweeted.

‘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.

‘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!’ he said. 

The Milken study compared mortality in the six months following the storm with the number of deaths that would have been expected if it had not hit the island. 

‘The difference between those two numbers is the estimate of excess mortality due to the hurricane,’ the scientists wrote

The risk of dying during the storm or in its aftermath was 60 percent higher for Puerto Ricans living in the poorest areas, they found. 

House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters late Thursday morning that he has ‘no reason to dispute these numbers.’

But Ryan also denied that a death toll in the thousands reflects poorly on Trump, saying, ‘casualties don’t make a person look bad.’ 

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a Democrat who tangled with the president over and over while Hurricane Maria made international news, fired back at him on Thursday. 

Dobbs said George Washington University study did not cite a death toll count, a body count, nor a study of death certificates, the damage of Catani, Puerto Rico pictured above

Dobbs said George Washington University study did not cite a death toll count, a body count, nor a study of death certificates, the damage of Catani, Puerto Rico pictured above

Dobbs said George Washington University study did not cite a death toll count, a body count, nor a study of death certificates, the damage of Catani, Puerto Rico pictured above

A shelter is pictured prior to the arrival of Hurricane Maria. An approximate death toll following the hurricane is yet to be made, as the George Washington study was actually an estimate of 'excess deaths'

A shelter is pictured prior to the arrival of Hurricane Maria. An approximate death toll following the hurricane is yet to be made, as the George Washington study was actually an estimate of 'excess deaths'

A shelter is pictured prior to the arrival of Hurricane Maria. An approximate death toll following the hurricane is yet to be made, as the George Washington study was actually an estimate of ‘excess deaths’

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz tweeted that Trump is 'delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality' on Thursday

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz tweeted that Trump is 'delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality' on Thursday

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz tweeted that Trump is ‘delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality’ on Thursday

‘This is what denial following neglect looks like: Mr Pres in the real world people died on your watch. YOUR LACK OF RESPECT IS APPALLING!’ she tweeted.

‘Mr Trump you can try and bully us with your tweets BUT WE KNOW OUR LIVES MATTER. You will never take away our self respect. Shame on you!’

Yulín Cruz later called Trump ‘delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality.’ 

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Thursday that his government commissioned the George Washington University study. ‘We are confident in that estimate,’ he told CBS News. 

‘There are still over 45,000 folks without roofs, still a weak energy grid,’ he said of the U.S. terriroty in the Caribbean Sea. 

‘If we get another devastation, it is likely to collapse.’ 

Mayor Yulín Cruz of San Juan, Puerto Rico lashed out at Trump on Thursday, calling him delusional and detached from reality

Mayor Yulín Cruz of San Juan, Puerto Rico lashed out at Trump on Thursday, calling him delusional and detached from reality

Mayor Yulín Cruz of San Juan, Puerto Rico lashed out at Trump on Thursday, calling him delusional and detached from reality

FEMA administrator Brock Long said Wednesday on MSNBC that ‘indirect deaths’ are often more numerous than deaths caused immediately by a natural disaster.

‘You have people who died after the storm passed because they fell off their roof making repairs, they died in car crashes because the stoplights were off, you have chainsaw accidents, you have accidents with people cleaning up debris,’ he said.

A team of researchers at Harvard University announced in May that they believed Hurricane Maria’s death toll was 4,600. At the time, the government’s death toll stood at 64.

Trump said Wednesday that his administration is prepared for Hurricane Florence, a storm barrelling toward the Carolina coastline, and insisted that his administration’s widely panned response to the devastation in Puerto Rico last year was an ‘unappreciated great job.’ 

‘We got A Pluses for our recent 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),’ Trump tweeted.

In the Oval Office on Tuesday, the president praised his administration’s response to the series of storms in 2017. ‘I think Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success,’ he claimed.  

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