Can We Please Be Intellectually Honest About Those ‘3,000 Deaths’ In Puerto Rico?

President Donald Trump took heat this week for refuting the media’s long-held claim that Hurricane Maria killed nearly 3,000 people in Puerto Rico.

The official death count from the US government put the death toll at 64.

But after CNN Superstar Carmen Yulin Cruz (who is apparently also the Mayor of San Juan) went on a crusade attacking President Trump for not doing enough, liberal academia stepped in to help inflate the numbers in an effort to discredit and denigrate President Trump.

It should be noted, first, that from the very beginning President Trump ensured Puerto Rico’s every request was granted. And that by itself exposes Mayor Cruz’s attacks as being entirely political.

But if Mayor Cruz and the liberal media along with their science-bastardizing friends in academia insist on exploiting death so they can play the blame game, and feckless Republican followers like Paul Ryan want to (as usual) chase the Democrats’ messages instead of leading with our own, I guess we’re within our rights to swing back…

Hurricane Maria was in part to blame for the 2,900 deaths that occurred in the months after the storm. But government officials in Puerto Rico, like Carmen Yulin Cruz, are far more culpable in those deaths than anyone else.

Politicians in Puerto Rico, like Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, are responsible for the island’s fledgling infrastructure and power grid. And the pathetic excuse for infrastructure that politicians like Mayor Cruz stood idly by and accepted is what actually enabled all those additional deaths.

In Houston, for example, they were able to get back up and running very quickly. Why? Because of a far more stable infrastructure and transportation network. That’s why we’re not still counting deaths in Houston as being the result of Hurricane Harvey.

But in Puerto Rico, the infrastructure and transportation networks were basically third world. And that meant the damage done couldn’t be quickly/easily repaired. The destruction was total.

That’s not President Trump’s fault. It has nothing to do with him.

What’s more, until Donald Trump became President nobody kept the “death toll” clock running for months after a natural disaster. Intellectually honest brokers know that when we talk about people who died due to a natural disaster or weather event, we’re talking about people who died during or — at most — in the immediate aftermath. Never before have angry movements been started by academia and the media to ensure we’re counting people who died 6+ months later. 

But today, because the media and Democrats want to bludgeon President Trump, that’s suddenly the new standard.

Suddenly, because incompetent and corrupt politicians like Carmen Yulin Cruz can’t bring their infrastructure out of the stone ages — she gets to parade around like a victim, while President Trump gets blamed for her incompetence. And the incompetence of those around her in Puerto Rico.

I don’t ever recall Barack Obama, or Democrats, or Paul Ryan for that matter, pushing in any meaningful way to help incompetent and corrupt politicians like Mayor Cruz create a more stable Puerto Rico.

And even if they had, they still failed.

And that failure — the instability and frailty of Puerto Rico’s infrastructure — is why nearly 3,000 people have died since Hurricane Maria hit.

And now President Trump, along with the US taxpayers and the brave men and women of FEMA, are ponying up the time and resources to do what Mayor Cruz and Paul Ryan and the rest never would.

Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico while Hurricane Harvey ripped through Texas. The reason people are still dying in Puerto Rico, and not Texas, is because of Puerto Rico’s many instabilities. That has plenty to do with the hurricane, but plenty more to do with people like Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz who asked for the opportunity to make Puerto Rico a safer and more stable place. She and her cohorts have spent their entire careers failing. And the ongoing death and destruction so many months after Hurricane Maria are the best evidence of that. The blame in no way belongs to President Trump. To the contrary, he is to be credited for all the money and resources pouring in to help do the work that Mayor Cruz never bothered with.

So I guess I do take issue with President Trump’s tweets. What he should have said is…

“Those 3,000 deaths are because corrupt and incompetent politicians like Mayor Cruz lined their own pockets instead of fixing Puerto Rico’s infrastructure and transportation safety networks. So now we’re doing it for them. So sorry it had to come to this. #MAGA!”

He’s right, however, to be defensive about being blamed for the ridiculous and brand new practice of giddily inflating death numbers months after a storm just to attack someone politically. But if that’s how the media and Democrats want this to go, so be it. The death in Puerto Rico is because their territorial leaders have failed to bring their infrastructure out of the stone ages.

You asked for this job, Carmen Yulin Cruz. You asked to be responsible for helping Puerto Rico go from a jerry-rigged mess, to something resembling a stable state. The blood is on your hands. Stop trying to smear it all over President Trump.

UPDATE, 9/14/18 at 6:24PM ET

Even Geraldo, who was on the ground in Puerto Rico for much of the action, disputes the media and academia’s accounting — and recognizes that it’s all just exploitation of tragedy for political points.



Mike Shields Brutalizes CNN Panel Over Hurricane Maria / Puerto Rico Dishonesty

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