Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Trump says Puerto storm response ‘unappreciated’

Trump says Puerto storm response ‘unappreciated’

During an Oval Office briefing Tuesday on Hurricane Florence, Trump called hisadministration's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico " an incredible, unsung success", despite the estimated death toll of just under 3,000.

The massive number was revealed in late August after the Puerto Rican government claimed for nearly a year that only 64 people died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Puerto Rico now says 2,975 people died on the island because of the storm.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed his administration's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico previous year was an "unsung success" and "incredibly successful".

"Potentially, Hurricane Isaac right now is tracking south of the island, but we are - we had several thousand people inside Puerto Rico right now working on long-term recovery that has shifted to the response mode to monitor, as Isaac passes to the south", Long replied.

Two weeks ago, the death toll from September 2017's Hurricane Maria was increased to more than 46 times the previous official government tally.

Again Wednesday morning, Trump said his administration's work in Puerto Rico was not appreciated. They did not die of old age, they died of neglect.

Puerto Rico's government-led by a governor with the island's pro-statehood party who is also a Democrat-faced criticism for almost a year after the hurricane that it drastically undercounted the number of fatalities caused by Maria. The report said the GAO has a number of audits pending that will analyze issues such as the restoration of power in Puerto Rico. And the the federal government's relief effort was riddled with demonstrable failures: Despite receiving advance warning of the hurricane's likely landfall in Puerto Rico, the administration neglected to deploy satellite phones, generators, and reserves of food, fuel, and water in advance of the storm. "We are ready. We are ready as anybody has ever been".

Trumps' comments came as his administration is preparing to respond to Hurricane Florence, a risky Category 4 storm that is threatening to barrel down on North and SC within days.

In a tweet, Trump said 3,000 people did not die in the storms.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNN's request for clarification on Trump's claim of the billions of dollars raised. "Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!" he wrote.

But it's not the first time Mr. Trump has lauded his administration's response, despite those criticisms - the president called the federal response to the storm "fantastic" last month.

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