Donald Trump Just Compared Scientific Research To 'Magic'

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On The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, the South African comedian said, "You see what the president doesn't seem to understand is that the effects of a hurricane last long after the storm has already passed, like the people on the Titanic, who froze in the water still died because of the crash".

They're counting deaths which took place five months after the storm had passed.

Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett reports. It's based on "a careful examination of all of the deaths officially reported to the government of Puerto Rico between September 2017 and February 2018... using state-of-the-art mathematical modeling to compare the total number of deaths during that time to the expected number of deaths, based on historical patterns as well as age, sex, socioeconomic status and migration from the island".

"Those are just the facts of what happens when a awful hurricane hits an isolated place like an island", Ryan said when asked about Trump's tweet.

The storm made landfall with winds close to 150 miles per hour on 17 September and plowed a path of destruction across the island, causing property damage estimated at $90 billion (£68.8 billion) and leaving much of the island without electricity for months.

As the United States braces itself for Hurricane Florence, it seems Trump is still determined to make people believe he did a great job during Hurricane Maria.

"I think if you haven't lost someone in Puerto Rico, if you're just an American citizen, if you're just a human and have any empathy for anyone else, you should feel that this is grotesque", she said. "When Trump arrived in Puerto Rico, he threw paper towels at the people when they were actually asking for help and while he was doing that, people were dying all around him", said Ortiz.

Cora said Trump's words were "disrespectful" to his home.

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"The idea that a year after the fact we're complaining - look, we've gone back in and done a really pretty incredible job of trying to rebuild", said Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), noting the island's infrastructure was in poor shape before the hurricane.

"Casualties don't make a person look bad", House Speaker Paul Ryan said.

Also in December, Gov. Rossello asked the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University to conduct a study into how many people were killed by Hurricane Maria.

"They hired.GWU Research to tell them how many people had died in Puerto Rico (how would they not know this?)", Trump added. "We are confident that the number - 2,975 - is the most accurate and unbiased estimate of excess mortality to date".

Earlier this week, Trump called the response to Hurricane Maria an "unsung success".

"This is what denial following neglect looks like", declared San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz in response to Trump's tweets. Those findings, by researchers at George Washington University on behalf of the Puerto Rico governor, were markedly different than the government's initial count, 64.

"Physician unawareness of appropriate death certification practices. and the government of Puerto Rico's lack of communication about the death certificate process.substantially limited the count of deaths related to María".

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