Washington – Wiping off the official figures, Donald Trump on Thursday rejected nearly 3,000 deaths in Puerto Rico related to Hurricane Mary and accused the democrats of artificially inflating the figures without any evidence.
"3,000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico"In September 2017, the president of the United States whose government was accused of negligence after passing this hurricane that left terrible stigma on the island, tweeted in many places, water, electricity, telephone and roads.
The presidential tweet induced indignant reactions from his political opponents and a real shame in his own camp: "There is no reason to question these figures"Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives, was not at ease.
Donald Trump, who has been hammering for months and has done his teams "a fantastic job"on this American territory, this controversy has fueled the last few days at the approach of another hurricane, which bears the name Florence and threatens the east coast of the United States.
"When I left the island, AFTER the storm hit, they had between 6 and 18 deaths", he tweeted, despite the studies published since the disaster, that this record had not significantly increased since then.
At the end of August, Ricardo Rossello, governor of the island, ordered the official balance to be upgraded to 2,975 dead after receiving a report from researchers from George Washington University, sponsored in light of the controversy over the number of victims.
The researchers estimate that the mortality rate on the island increased by 22% from September 2017 to February 2018, compared with the same period of the previous year. "Any future discussion should be based on this report"said Mr. Rosselllo.
Another independent study, conducted by Harvard researchers and published in May, found about 4,600 deaths in three months.
– "I love Puerto Rico!"-
For the Republican president, the official figures "really very high"are trying to give democrats"an image as bad as possible"of him while he has, he assures, managed to lift"billions of dollars"to help rebuild Puerto Rico.
"If a person died for any reason, say old age, she was added to the list"he complained, before he ended this series of tweets with a"I love Puerto Rico!".
While Trump's mobilization was generally well received after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in Texas and Florida, it was far less consensual about Puerto Rico, an area stifled by debts and faltering infrastructure.
The 3.4 million inhabitants of this Caribbean island that has the status ofassociated area"in the United States are American citizens, but do not have the right to vote in the presidential election.
"Only Donald Trump can conclude, by analyzing the tragedy of Puerto Rico, that he is the victim", responded Democratic senator Ed Markey, quoted by the Washington Post.
"Shame on him", said Steny Hoyer, elected Democrat of the House of Representatives.And shame about this Congress (where the Republicans have the majority in both houses, Ed) not to answer for their role in these tragic deaths that could have been avoided".
"Damn! It is NOT politics, the only question is always the REASON OF LIFE"For his part, the Democratic mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, wrote that for a few months the attitude of the American president was denounced hostile.