As Hurricane Florence churned toward the Carolinas, President Trump on Thursday diverted attention from the government’s preparations for the monster storm to his personal grievances over last year’s Hurricane Maria by falsely claiming a conspiracy to inflate the death toll in Puerto Rico. You remember Puerto Rico, right? NO??
Trump certainly doesn't seem to give a crap.
AS we watch the devastation BEGIN in the Carolinas it MIGHT be time to analyze how his administration handled Hurricane Maria and the aftermath. I'd like to call it the "recovery" but then again.....what recovery?
Basic modern-day services are still not fully operational across the island. The electric grid is vulnerable to frequent outages, and the most isolated areas lack water. The elderly are particularly at risk as many simply cannot cope with unreliable medical treatment, oppressive heat and sporadic power. Over 200 schools remain closed and may close permanently. Many Puerto Ricans have left the island.
Thursday morning on Twitter, Trump denied large-scale casualties from the Puerto Rico hurricane: “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.” The immediately Hurricane Maria became all about him: "This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible......"
The numbers from Puerto Rico are based on confirmed death certificates--before, during and after the storm. Trump thoroughly mischaracterized how the death toll of 2,975 was tallied in the study, conducted by George Washington University.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters that he had “no reason to dispute” the death toll of nearly 3,000. “Those are just the facts of what happens when a horrible hurricane hits an isolated place like an island,” he said.
Retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) was a rare vocal GOP critic. She called the president’s tweets on Puerto Rico “heartless” and said she would support a probe into the federal response to Hurricane Maria.
“It’s needlessly hurtful and absolutely wrong,” she said. “He’s casting doubt on the death count and making it about himself.”
Here's my questions: How are Puerto Ricans going to vote November 6th? AND in 2020?? How is Trump going to handle Hurricane Florence? Blame the Democrats?
Roberto Rivera and Wolfgang Rolke, two Puerto Rican experts on statistics, note, “Families are eligible for U.S. federal assistance for deaths attributed to a major disaster or emergency.” While the professors point this out to highlight the importance of getting the figure right — which they put at 822 from the moment Maria hit land until the end of October 2017 — it also shows the incentive in claiming that your mother’s death from diabetes really came as a result of a meteorological phenomenon.
The Harvard University study admits, “In the United States, death certificates are the primary source of mortality statistics, and in most jurisdictions, death can be attributed to disasters only by medical examiners. Survey-based studies can therefore provide important complementary population-level metrics in the wake of natural disasters, despite inherent limitations associated with the nature of participant-reported data, recall bias, nonresponse bias, and survivor bias.”
Since this disaster occurred on U.S. soil, why discard the way officials, by law, tabulated the numbers up until this point? The statisticians and journalists say Puerto Rican medical examiners lack proper training and cremated hundreds of people whom they improperly judged as killed by something other than the hurricane. Upon the pretext that the system heretofore used had broken in Puerto Rico, journalists, academics, and others offered a system more broken than the one it replaced.
Did you hear the one about the jobless rate? AND the GDP?
President Donald Trump's latest tweet about the economy has a grain of truth to it. But it's a really tiny grain.
What's true is that, as of the latest quarter, the growth rate of the U.S. economy was greater than the unemployment rate. That's certainly good news.
But it wasn't the first time this happened in 100 years, as Trump boldly claimed Monday without evidence.
The GDP Rate (4.2%) is higher than the Unemployment Rate (3.9%) for the first time in over 100 years!
To believe the president's claim, you would have to overlook the dozens of times this has happened since 1948, when the government began collecting the official data series tracking the gross domestic product and the unemployment rate.
In fact, the annual rate of real GDP growth, measured on a quarterly basis, has topped the jobless rate more than 60 times. Not, as Trump claimed, only once in the last century.
AND WHAT do does his staff and supporters have to say about one more baldfaced lie??
They cover. They translate. They make excuses. Here's Kevin Hassett, Chair of Economic Advisors--you'll love it--better memorize this so you can use it later:
"… I don't know the whole chain of command," he said. "What is true it is that it's the highest in 10 years. At some point somebody probably conveyed it to him adding a zero to that, and they shouldn't have done that." I told you you'd love it. Yes, Kevin. "Somebody" just happened to say 100 instead of 10 *TEN* TEN. It's an easy mistake--everybody does that.
Last month, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders falsely claimed that Trump has created three times as many jobs for black workers as his predecessor, President Barack Obama, did during his entire time in office. Unfortunately, Kevin must have been unavailable to cover that faux pas.
You'll be surprised to hear that when it came to the president's most recent economic data error, however, the White House did not immediately respond to request for comment Monday. Where's Kevin?