Revisiting Trump’s lies and Hurricane Maria’s death toll in Puerto Rico

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UTUADO, PUERTO RICO - OCTOBER 19:  Mourners carry the casket of Wilfredo Torres Rivera, 58, who died October 13 after jumping off a bridge into a lake, three weeks after Hurricane Maria, on October 19, 2017 in Utuado, Puerto Rico. Utuado was one of the hardest hit areas on the island and remains largely without grid electricity or running water. Wilfredo's family said he suffered from depression and schizophrenia and was caring for his 92-year-old mother in a home without electricity or water in the aftermath of Maria. They believe he did not have the mental tools to manage the challenges of the storm's aftermath. The family was concerned and brought Wilfredo to a doctor shortly before his death but they say he was not provided with adequate care or counseling. While the government has ruled his death a suicide, the family believes his death should be classified as a death caused by Hurricane Maria. The official death toll of Hurricane Maria is 48 yet critics believe the actual death toll may be far higher.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

As the number of deaths due to COVID-19 continue to grow on Donald Trump’s watch, and outrage over his culpability escalates, let us not forget that he showed us who he is back in 2017 when he attempted to ignore and minimize the death toll in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria’s devastation of the island. Remember that in 2018, Trump claimed Democrats made up death toll numbers to make him look bad. He even gave himself a “10,” for his response.

Sound familiar? His “COVID-19 is a hoax” routine is a retread of his Hurricane Maria rhetoric and lies.

Today, on September 11th, as I sit and think about the World Trade Center where I was working in 2001, and the 2,977 deaths which resulted from the terrorist attacks, I am reminded of the 2,975 deaths attributed to Maria in a George Washington University study—other studies, like one from Harvard, posted higher numbers.  

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, Daily Kos reports

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