President Trump is defending his administration's response to the devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico a year ago, disputing new findings that Hurricane Maria killed far more people than initially believed.
The figure of 2,975 came from a study by George Washington University, which incorporated the longer-term effects of the natural disaster, such as low-income residents and elderly people who didn't have access to adequate food, water, and other resources to begin with.
During a news conference on Capitol Hill later Thursday morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, avoided directly criticizing Trump but said he had no reason to dispute the study's findings. But I think this is more than politics.
Hostin blamed the Jones Act, saying it allowed the US government to "pillage and rape" the island since its inception in 1920, before asking why Trump didn't have an equal reaction to Maria as President Obama did to Haiti, which isn't even a USA territory.
The death toll study was commissioned by Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, a member of Puerto Rico's "New Progressive Party".
Lynn Goldman, the dean of GW's Milken Institute School of Public Health stressed that the number is not precise and more work should be done on the issue.
It was the second time this week that the president had made outlandish claims about Puerto Rico, which also engendered a furious response. Sen.
But when have Democrats ever let the facts get in the way of an anti-Trump myth?
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.
Trump added: "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".
With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the Carolinas, Donald Trump posted a Twitter video in which he both claiming to have everything in hand and warned of catastrophe. Those were not needed during the response phase and were not distributed by the governor of Puerto Rico or FEMA for that reason'.
"The job that FEMA, and law enforcement and everybody did working along with the governor in Puerto Rico, I think was tremendous", Trump added. Full power was restored in Puerto Rico following last year's storm only last month. Rossello says, "It's not a time to fight, to have political noise, to use these things for the benefit of one party or another".
In the wake of the media reporting on Trump's tweet, George Washington University released a statement saying it stood by the science in the study.
Mr. Trump earlier this week described his administration's efforts in Puerto Rico as an "unsung success".