After Hurricane Maria ravaged the island in September, the official death toll in Puerto Rico turned out to be much higher than the Trump administration had led us to believe.
But President Donald Trump, who is notorious for denying any set of information that makes him look bad, relentlessly denied the number of deaths – which by the way came from his very own administration.
Just recently, progressive Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reminded the commander-in-chief that the catastrophic hurricane that he keeps downplaying also took her grandfather’s life. She said the administration’s failure in dealing with the disaster was part of a larger, "systemic issue."
"What we saw in Puerto Rico was a mass death of 3,000 people," Ocasio-Cortez said on CNN's "State of the Union."
"It was the worst humanitarian crisis in modern American history, and many, many people impacted by this storm point to government inaction as the cause of death," she added.
Cortez, the 28-year-old socialist House candidate who beat Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) in an absolute political stunner, said the POTUS’ relentless denialism was indicative of the "modern-day colonial relationship" between the United States and Puerto Rico.
“First and foremost, there is a systemic issue here, and that is the modern day colonial relationship that the United States has with Puerto Rico,” said Cortez. “Puerto Ricans are technically American citizens but do not have the right to vote. They are treated in completely different ways as normal American citizens are. And for that reason you have the chronic neglect of the island, and it is acute situations like this in which Puerto Ricans continue to be treated like second-class citizens.”
"They did not even have the capacity to choose this President, yet they continue to suffer at the hands of this administration," she continued.
Cortez’s comments came after Trump successfully enraged millions of Americans by claiming the almost 3,000 deaths in Puerto Rico after the devastation caused by two back-to-back hurricanes were “fake news.”
He blamed the Democrats for making up false numbers to make him look “as bad as possible.”
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. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2018
Trump’s highly tone-deaf statement, at a time when there’s another storm looming over the country, was met by severe criticism. Cortez also took to Twitter and said her grandfather’s death was among those uncounted fatalities the president apparently has no regard for.
My own grandfather died in the aftermath of the storm. Uncounted.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) September 13, 2018
Thousands of Puerto Ricans have similar stories. They have lost children, friends, & family members.
Instead of finger-pointing, INVEST in the Marshall Plan for Puerto Rico + just transition to renewable energy. https://t.co/ncukYyJsRu
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