The lessons of Hurricane Katrina and the damage it did to George W. Bush’s image — thanks to a complicit media — is not lost on the left, and with another storm hitting the East Coast this week, the anti-Trump cabal are talking about Hurricane Maria, which hit one year ago.
The focus has been on the number of deaths in Puerto Rico, the higher the number, the more it reflects poorly on President Trump, but MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace took the narrative to another level when she complained that Hurricane Maria victims haven’t been honored in an equal manner as Americans who died during the Islamic terrorist attack on 9/11.
Wallace put words in the mouth of Speaker Paul Ryan, saying that the Republican lawmaker said a 3,000 figure being reported was the official death toll. Ryan actually said, “I have no reason to dispute these numbers.”
“It was striking to see Paul Ryan, who’s been really not much of a profile in courage, but he went out today and said absolutely that figure of 3,000 is the official death toll from Hurricane Maria. That is the official death toll in Puerto Rico, embraced by the federal government.”
Puerto Rico’s governor raised the island’s official death toll from 64 to 2,975 last month.
She then drew attention to the president tweeting that the numbers were not that high.
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
New York Times Nicholas Confessore, a panelist on the show, weighed in to talk about accountability, hitting Trump over his ego before comparing the storm deaths to 9/11.
“Every year this country takes a day on 9/11 to think about the thousands of Americans who were lost in that attack,” he said. “Thousands of Americans were lost after this hurricane. And we don’t pay the same amount of respect.”
“And you’re right,” Wallace chimed in. “The numbers were haunting on Tuesday, to read those numbers. It is almost the same number of Americans. You look what we do on 9/11. There was nothing that I was aware of at the White House to honor the lives lost in Hurricane Maria.”
Never mind that there’s a difference between deaths at the hand of natural disasters, which are largely out of our control, and deaths that occurred as a result of a terrorist attack.
The 2,975 figure being tossed about in the press is not an exact count of hurricane-related deaths on the island, as noted by FactCheck.org. It is a statistical estimate of deaths after the storm, based on a study by researchers at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health — the study was commissioned by Puerto Rico.
(Draw your own conclusion about the likely liberal makeup of these researchers.)
This statistical conclusion was alluded to in a tweet from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who called for putting a stop to the blame game and focus on recovery.
These days even tragedy becomes political. 3k more Americans died in #PuertoRico after Hurricane than during comparable periods before. Both Fed & local gov made mistakes. We all need to stop the blame game & focus on recovery, helping those still hurting & fixing the mistakes. https://t.co/NQRKWbWEdh
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) September 13, 2018
Of course, we need not be reminded of a quote that was popularized by Mark Twain: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
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