Trump Denies Death Toll for Hurricane Maria

One of the nation’s deadliest hurricanes to ever be recorded hit last September, Hurricane Maria, destroyed the lives of the 3.4 million people that resided on the island. The Category 4 hurricane caused mass destruction, electricity was 100% cut off, and food & clean water remained scarce for a prolonged period of time. Since its occurrence, more than 200,000 Puerto Ricans have left and moved onto the continental US. The hurricane caused an astounding $94 billion in damage-but, the effects of the storm will not only affect the economy for years to come, but will also affect the people. In August, GWU recorded the number of deaths due to the hurricane. 2,975 people died. Puerto Rico accepted this final number after initially stating the official death toll was around 64.

On September 13th of this year, Trump appeared on his Twitter, unsurprisingly, with great hostility. He stated, “3000 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. Then, a long time later, they started to report very large numbers, like 3000….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. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!”

Trump’s tweet is simply disgusting. Our president not only decided to publish a Tweet without looking for the countless grammatical errors he had, but he denied a death toll. The disrespect this message sends to those who lost family members or friends in the destruction of Hurricane Maria saddens me. Trump stated that he visited Puerto Rico after the storm (we all remember his paper towel-throwing party), but that is the only part of his tweet where he decides to tell the truth.

Our president is denying and neglecting his duties. As president, he must take responsibility for the lack of medical services, money, and food in Puerto Rico.

To everyone who resides (or previously resided) in Puerto Rico, to everyone who lost a part of them, whether it be their household or a family member, due to this hurricane, I offer you my deepest condolences on behalf of the United States of America.