FEMA boss defends Donald Trump’s denial of Hurricane Maria death toll figures

18 Septembre, 2018, 18:22 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • FEMA boss defends Donald Trump’s denial of Hurricane Maria death toll figures

Last Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez took President Donald Trump to task after his tweet dismissed the official death toll in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Long said this in relation to the authenticity of the study conducted by George Washington University, which said that more than 3,000 people had died in Puerto Rico as part of Hurricane Maria previous year.

On Friday, Trump claimed that the number of dead in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria was inflated to make him look bad, tweeting that there is "NO WAY" the toll went up "FIFTY TIMES LAST ORIGINAL NUMBER".

In the end, Long said, "these studies are all over the place", mentioning George Washington and Harvard.

"You might see more deaths occur as time goes on because people have heart attacks due to stress, they fall off their house trying to fix their roof, they die in auto crashes because they went through an intersection when the stop lights weren't working", he said.

Sounds like he's splitting more hairs than 45 - but he's clearly on Trump's side in this.

He said: "When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths".

Harvard University published another study on May 29, which estimated the increased mortality translated into 793 to 8498 additional deaths in Puerto Rico from September 20 through December 31, 2017.

In one such cartoon, drawn by Marshall Ramsey and shared on Twitter by San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, Trump was shown pointing angrily at rows of graves labeled "Maria victims" as he shouted "stop making me look bad!"

The host continued by claiming that Harvard and George Washington University - the two institutions who aided in the research that found a death toll of almost 3,000 - carried out "extrapolations of the wildest form".

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"Spousal abuse goes through the roof". "If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list".

According to the Post, Long, in explaining the president's point, "suggested researchers took into account deaths due to a range of causes with tenuous links to the storm, such as automobile accidents and domestic violence".

"In my opinion, what we've got to do is figure out why people die from direct deaths, which is the wind, the water, and the waves, buildings collapsing", he said.

Fourteen people have died from the storm as of Sunday morning as Florence continues to slam the mid-Atlantic coast.

'There are still people who don't have their homes. Namely, she said the issue is the "modern-day colonial relationship" between the United States and Puerto Rico.

"Well, I think what happened in my family is what happened to thousands of Puerto Ricans", Ocasio-Cortez said.

Long's comments come days after reports emerged that he was under investigation by a federal watchdog for misusing government vehicles for personal use.

On Sunday, Long acknowledged that he is being investigated but denied that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has asked for his resignation.

"I would never intentionally violate any rules that I was aware of", he said.

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