WATCH: FEMA Administrator Brock Long calls Puerto Rico studies “frustrating” #MTP@FEMA_Brock: “You might see more deaths indirectly as time goes on... Spousal abuse goes through the roof. You can’t blame spousal abuse after a disaster on anyone” pic.twitter.com/PcDGCiJyGd— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) September 16, 2018
Last week President Donald Trump denied a Harvard study that claimed more than 4,000 people died after two hurricanes struck Puerto Rico.
The commander-in-chief said only 6-18 people died because of the hurricanes, saying this was a conspiracy played “by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible.”
Later, the government increased the official death toll to 64 for the first week of Hurricane Maria that hit Puerto Rico in 2017. This number wasn’t true because several reports found evidence of larger number of causalities.
However, to make matters worse FEMA administrator Brock Long said in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," that Trump doubting the death toll wasn’t wrong, arguing that numerous academic studies were "all over the place."
“The Harvard study was done differently than the George Washington study, this study or that study and the numbers are over the place,” he said.
"I think the president is being taken out of context there," Long said. "I mean, I talked to the president every day this week, and the secretary of homeland security, and we discuss what we're trying to do as a result of last year."
When asked about Trump blaming the Democrats for the study, he said, “I don’t know why the studies were done," adding that more needs to be done to figure out why people were dying directly because of wind, water, waves and building collapses – claiming that probably that is where the 64 number came from.
Then the spineless director explained the indirect casualties.
“And then there’s indirect deaths,” he said. “So, George Washington study looked at what happened six months after fact. And what happened is — and even in [Hurricane Florence] — you might see more deaths indirectly occur as time goes on because people have heart attacks due to stress, the fall off their house trying to fix their roof. They die in car crashes because they went through an intersection where the stop lights weren’t working.”
“You know, the other thing that goes on,” Long added. “Spousal abuse goes through the roof. You can’t blame spousal abuse after a disaster on anybody.”
Although, violence against women actually did increase after Hurricane Maria – it can’t possibly be the only reason for the increasing number of deaths in Puerto Rico.
Long lauded Trump for supporting FEMA and appreciated his efforts, including his response to North and South Carolina that is battling with storm Florence.
It’s pertinent to note that what Trump actually did was to brew up a storm of controversy defending his handling of Hurricane Maria, even before storm Florence made landfall in North Carolina.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Getty Images, Joe Raedle