The administrator of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Brock Long, has suggested that Donald Trump could be right in his denial of the figures related to deaths suffered during Hurricane Maria. Long has suggested that death numbers from widely unrelated matters often make their way into the headlines, leading to speculations regarding the total figure.
Long said this in relation to the authenticity of the study conducted by George Washington University, which said that more than 3,000 people had died in Puerto Rico as part of Hurricane Maria last year.
Talking about the figures coming from unrelated sources, Long said, “The George Washington study looked at what happened six months after the fact. And what happens is, even in [Hurricane Florence] you might see more deaths indirectly as time goes on because people have heart attacks due to stress, they 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.”
There are numerous studies and factors that need to be taken into perspective before developing the final figure.
Long also hailed Trump for being extremely passionate and having a keen eye towards the growth of FEMA and the staff. He thanked Trump for showing compassion, which was lacking in many of the former U.S. presidents.
The George Washington University, however, stands by the number it quoted and has mentioned that there are no doubts regarding the authenticity of the study. When asked about the remarks by Trump, the University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health said in a statement, “We stand by the science underlying our study, which found there were an estimated 2,975 excess deaths in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.”
Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News. She covers politics and the economy.