Donald Trump’s Denial of Hurricane Maria’s Deaths Defended by FEMA Boss

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Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), suggested when speaking on “Meet the Press” from NBS that the death toll figures from last year’s hurricane in Puerto Rico, which were estimated to be 3,000, were in fact inflated. Long indicated that a George Washington University (GWU) study – the one that gave us the resulting numbers – actually had misleading figures.

What does Long believe

Long mentioned that the George Washington study took into consideration events, in this case deaths, that took place six months after the Hurricane Maria. In his opinion, deaths that happen independently of the hurricane as time passes should not be considered when establishing the final number. He stated that people may have heart attacks due to the stress following the event, they might fall from their roof while trying to fix it or they could die in a car accident due to the fact that they drove through an intersection which had broken stop lights. All these events, he says, should not be taking into account.

Long is supporting Donald Trump’s denial of Hurricane Maria death toll figures

Long was assigned to be the chief of FEMA by President Donald Trump in April 2017. He praises his boss for supporting FEMA and its staff, stating that there has never been such a support shown by a U.S. president before. Long’s comments took place a few days after Trump stated, without having any evidence, that the official death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico was inflated on purpose by the Democrats, in order to make him look “as bad as possible”.

Nevertheless, the GWU study states that the researchers considered normal and predicted death rates, as well as death certificate data and some other relevant details before they used a complex mathematical model to calculate the deaths in Puerto Rico after the Hurricane Maria. Following Trump’s remarks, the university’s Milken Institute School of Public Health stated on Thursday that they “stand by the science underlying the study” and that the death toll figures were not influenced by anyone.


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