Trump touts Puerto Rico response as Hurricane Florence looms

13 September, 2018, 19:58 | Author: Donnie King
  • FEMA chief Coastal NC residents should leave

A more cautious president would not have then disputed a death toll - 2,975 - that turned out to be much higher and was embraced by the local government as official.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who is locked in a tight Senate race, also split from Trump.

Thousands of people died in the wake of the storm, according to a study commissioned by the Puerto Rican government.

Maria, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm, caused an island-wide power outage, nearly completely knocked out communications including satellite phones and left 80% of the island without access to water in the days following the storm. He says the process was "carried out properly".

With his comments on Thursday, Trump didn't just kick a hornets nest - instead, he bludgeoned it with a barbed-wire baseball bat and outrage exploded across Twitter.

But Trump has continued to boast about the handling of Maria, calling it "an incredible unsung success" as he warned residents of the Carolinas not to take chances with Florence.

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, blamed the federal government for not adequately preparing for Maria in response to the study.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) told CBS News that the water was distributed to the central government of Puerto Rico as part of hurricane relief efforts previous year.




The mayor of Puerto Rico's capital calls Trump "delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality". The George Washington University report said the actual number of excess deaths was estimated to be in the range of 2,658 to 3,290.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides doctors with a set of recommendations for counting such deaths as those caused by natural disasters, but the guidelines were nearly never followed by Puerto Rican doctors in the chaos after the storm.

Hurricane Florence is the first major test of the Federal Emergency Management Agency since its much-criticized response to Maria, which caused devastation when it struck Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm a year ago.

The elderly and impoverished were hardest hit by the hurricane. "I want to clarify that at no time was any verbal or written information submitted that represented a complaint about the water we received", Rosario said in a statement to CBS News.

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

"I actually think it was one of the best jobs that's ever been done with respect to what this is all about", Mr. Trump said Tuesday in a briefing with DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and FEMA Administrator Brock Long.

"This was the worst natural disaster in our modern history".

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