Ron DeSantis, Andrew Gillum agree: Trumps Puerto Rico claim was wrong

Zach Gibson  AFP  Getty Images People cross the street as water floods outside buildings in Old Town Alexandria Va. Sept. 11 2018

She noted that some 12,000 personnel were sent to Puerto Rico for response and recovery efforts, and said the federal government would continue to support the island's recovery for years to come. A US territory since 1898, Puerto Rico's inhabitants are citizens, though they can not vote in presidential elections and have only one congressional representative with limited voting powers.

The 3,000 number is an approximation from a George Washington University study that estimated how many "excess deaths" occurred as a outcome of Hurricane Maria, rather than as a result of the normal life cycle on the island. He said the toll was no greater than 18 when he visited the island past year and "did not go up by much". "Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers".

Trump on Thursday tweeted "3,000 people did not die" in Puerto Rico and called the death count a move by Democrats to make him look bad.

Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida says President Donald Trump "dishonors the living and the dead" with his baseless claim that 3,000 people did not die in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria and its aftermath. I was in Puerto Rico after the hurricane. That's actually lower than the estimate published by Harvard researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine - 4,645 - but it still puts Maria's death toll on a par with 9/11, whose 17th anniversary we just commemorated.

A USA government report published this month concluded that the federal response in Puerto Rico was hampered by a lack of trained staff as well as by major logistical challenges.

At the end of August, the island government raised the official death toll to approximately 2,975 after maintaining for almost a year that 64 people had died as a result of the storm.

Cruz maintains the federal government's response to the hurricane was slow and inadequate while Trump said it was a success.

There is a lot of blame to go around for the situation that Puerto Rico found itself in before Maria hit. We've seen conflicting information associated with the process of coming up with a realistic accounting of how many people died during and after the storm.

"He knows that his base is not watching us right now", Powers said, noting Trump's only focus is his base.

Members of both parties on Capitol Hill disagreed with the president's statements.

Maria hit previous year as Trump was feeling positive about the handling of massive hurricanes in Florida and Texas and hoping to use those efforts to stem a tide of negative press. Koch network's new super PAC Congress just failed our nation's veterans when it comes to medical marijuana Dems launch million digital ad buy in top Senate races MORE (D-Fla.) and DeSantis is running to replace him as governor.

Cora, who was born in Puerto Rico, took issue with those comments.

George Washington University stood by the science behind its findings, calling the figure of 2,975 deaths "the most accurate and unbiased estimate of excess mortality to date".

On Wednesday, Puerto Rican officials said about 20,000 pallets of water bottles shipped to Puerto Rico after Maria went unused and became too contaminated to drink.

Puerto Rico has been a US territory since 1898. Its inhabitants are USA citizens, though they are barred from voting in presidential elections and have only one congressional representative with limited voting powers.

But Trump, that official said, was unwilling to admit even internally that more needed to be done on the island.

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