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Hurricane Maria death toll higher than Trump believes

by Christopher Suarez - Copy Editor
Tue, Sep 25th 2018 05:00 pm
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On Wednesday, Sept. 20,  a massive category 4 hurricane hit the small island of Puerto Rico. Home to roughly 3 million people, the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria just over a year ago. 

The hurricane left the island in ruins as first responders rushed to save as many lives as they could. With high winds of up to 175 mph, Hurricane Maria caused statewide power outages and destroyed infrastructure across the island. Maria’s impact on the island was monumental. When the hurricane first occurred, there was a reported death toll of approximately 16 people. 

According to ThinkProgress, researchers at George Washington University did an extensive report on the actual death toll following Hurricane Maria. Based on their report, the Puerto Rican government raised it's death toll to 3,000 people by the end of August, which is major rise from the small number reported under a year ago. 

Recently, President Trump took to Twitter to comment on what he says is the falsity of those numbers. 

“3,000 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. Trump tweeted "Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…” 

Trump then goes onto blame Democrats for falsifying that number.

“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.” 

The president is convinced that the efforts put forth to help Puerto Rico was like anything else, when in reality, the U.S. did not do as much as he thinks it did. 

According to ThinkProgress, after the hurricane hit the island, parts of Puerto Rico were stuck without clean water for nine months. Most residents in the island were stuck without electricity for nearly a year with the U.S. not doing one thing about it. 

The approximately 16 people Trump is tweeted about, are the immediate deaths caused by the winds and power of the hurricane. 

What he is failing to realize, is the number of people who died months after the hurricane hit due to the lack of water, nutrition and electricity. The death toll increased greatly because of the lasting impact of the storm. However, the president will swear that the aftermath of Maria was handled amazingly. 

“One of the best jobs that’s ever been done. I think Puerto Rico was an incredible unsung success” Trump stated in a live broadcast from MSNBC.  

According to Vox, Puerto Rico was changed after Maria. The storm caused the largest blackout in U.S. history and triggered mass migration to the states. With thousands of Puerto Ricans moving to the main land. 

That does not sound like an “incredible unsung success” to me. That sounds like the people of Puerto Rico were suffering for months after the hurricane and the U.S. did little to nothing to resolve it and is now trying to cover its tracks. 

After the hurricane, public faces begged for the government to help Puerto Rico. 

According to ABC News, singer and actress, Jennifer Lopez, stated “We just want to be treated equally. We’re Americans.”

Trump’s biggest critic was San Juan Mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz. 

According to CNN, Cruz said that Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria was a “istoric failure. 

“This is president Trump’s Katrina. He can spin it all he wants, 3,000 people died on his watch” Cruz said.

Most people will not believe Trump when he says approximately 16 people died because of Hurricane Maria. However, his remarks can become misleading and there are those who fall for it. 

According to ThinkProgress, one in four Americans believe Trump’s claim.   Puerto Rico is still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Maria. No matter what Trump says, the people will continue to recover and get their island back to what it was independently.

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