The Jury Talks Back


Trump: Democrats Are Making Up the Death Toll in Puerto Rico

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:16 am

Because, as usual, it’s all about him:

Electricity was out for months in Puerto Rico, with reports last month that it was finally back being disputed by some residents. Drinking water was a problem for weeks, at least. It’t not facially insane to think that these and other factors could contribute to a rise in deaths after the winds and rain had subsided.

Here’s the study. I’m not interested in your purely partisan insights pro or con, but if anyone has actual thoughts on the actual methodology of the study, leave them below.


  1. Looking at other similar disasters:

    Since counting the dead is not a priority during the immediate aftermath, estimating the dead is probably the only option. And there is an argument the death tool could be even higher:

    In one sense, it matters little outside of newsrooms. Any number of dead is a tragedy, whether it be 2,000, 3,000 or 10,000. In terms of planning emergency relief operations, the amount of people needing assistance and damage to infrastructure are often more important. Over time, a final toll is tallied, or in the case of larger disasters, an estimate agreed upon.

    The following factors have been attributed to the confusion in the Philippines: downed communication lines making it impossible to get up-to-date information; shattered local administrations unable to work to full capacity; villagers burying their dead immediately or bodies being sucked out to sea and not being counted.

    Similar factors were cited after the 2004 Asian tsunami, where in some instances separate government departments in Indonesia were giving out significantly different figures, each unconcerned about the confusion this created.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/13/2018 @ 8:47 am

  2. Death toll, not tool. Sorry.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/13/2018 @ 8:47 am

  3. Typical Trump to ignore what the study says and play the victim. If I were he, I would be showcasing this quote from page V which the study itself puts in block letters at the top of the page:

    The inadequate preparedness and personnel training for crisis and emergency risk communication, combined with numerous barriers to accurate, timely information and factors that increased rumor generation, ultimately decreased the perceived transparency and credibility of the Government of Puerto Rico.

    But one thing we’ve always said about Trump is that he’s not smart enough to get out of his own damn way.

    Comment by JVW — 9/13/2018 @ 1:27 pm

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