Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

San Juan Mayor Responds To Trump's 'Appalling' Denial Of Puerto Rico Deaths

San Juan Mayor Responds To Trump's 'Appalling' Denial Of Puerto Rico Deaths

"I actually think it was one of the best jobs that's ever been done with respect to what this is all about", Trump said Tuesday of the response in Puerto Rico, suggesting that it was made more hard by the "island nature" of the storm site.

The mayor of Ceiba, Angel Cruz Ramos, told CNN he's grateful for the generosity, but believes that too much water was delivered at the wrong time. "Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000", Trump tweeted. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) wrote on Twitter.

More than a million people are under mandatory evacuation orders, and coastal residents frantically boarded up homes and businesses and hit the road as the storm approached. That was before a recent study found 2975 people died as a result of Hurricane Maria.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a Democrat who has sparred with Trump, tweeted that "Trump is so vain he thinks this is about him".

The Republican president suggested the hurricane death toll was artificially inflated by adding those who passed away from natural causes such as old age. It was commissioned by Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló, and was conducted by experts at George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health. Chef José Andrés, whose charity fed thousands on the island in the aftermath of the storm, said Trump is "the face of no shame".

"Pres Trump thinks loosing [sic] 3,000 lives is a success", she tweeted Tuesday.

Trump visited the island on October 3, when the death toll was listed at 16, and he congratulated the island on avoiding "a real catastrophe like Katrina".

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The study concluded that the initial death toll of 64 only included those killed directly by hurricanes Maria and Irma - either by drowning, flying debris or building collapse. More than 1 million people already faced mandatory evacuation orders Tuesday in coastal areas of Virginia, North Carolina and SC.

Meanwhile, Trump on Wednesday boasted about his administration's response to past hurricanes, while also referencing his past feud with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz over storm relief efforts in Puerto Rico previous year.

The president's remarks came in the midst of an update in the Oval Office with officials on the status of Hurricane Florence, now making its way towards the East Coast.

The administration's efforts in Puerto Rico received widespread criticism.

Trump said that unrelated deaths were added to inflate the number.

Earlier this week, after Mr Trump hailed the United States response in Puerto Rico as "tremendous" and "an incredible, unsung success".

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