Trump Called ‘An International Disgrace’ After Claiming ‘3,000 People Did Not Die’ in Puerto Rico
By Elizabeth Preza
In a stunning tweet on Thursday, Donald Trump refuted reports that nearly 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria in 2017.
"[Three thousand] people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico," Trump wrote. "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…"
"....This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico," Trump claimed. "If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!"
3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit… https://t.co/6gATFkCMeH— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1536842247.0
.....This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Bil… https://t.co/sd4kS7qtcY— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1536842952.0
In October 2017, Trump touted the low death toll in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, which at the time consisted of only 16 certified deaths. In August 2018, following a study from George Washington University, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló revised the official death toll to 2,975.
The internet on Thursday slammed Trump for caring more about his ego than the facts.
A Hurricane Denier. https://t.co/zTa5qr1IN3— Dana Milbank (@Dana Milbank)1536842470.0
Trump is now disputing the death figures in Puerto Rico...by the thousands. This man has to get out of office ASAP.— deray (@deray)1536842826.0
The president is going to do the Monty Python parrot sketch with Puerto Rico. This isn’t likely to end well. https://t.co/br8HEzXl4z— Dave Levinthal (@Dave Levinthal)1536842410.0
Is there a word for the 10 minutes after the jaw-dropping tweet that has an ellipsis at the end of it, while you're… https://t.co/k9MnJvff99— Steven Shepard (@Steven Shepard)1536842538.0
Somewhere, White House aides are screaming into pillows https://t.co/5EmocBdnoO— Maggie Haberman (@Maggie Haberman)1536842344.0
Also: He appears to be floating a conspiracy that the death toll is being artificially inflated https://t.co/qHX27XWfvm— Chris Cillizza (@Chris Cillizza)1536842335.0
This should be a comfort to the people who lost family members. Now they know they can blame Thanos or the rapture… https://t.co/gwL2W79TBU— A Jason Tabrys (@A Jason Tabrys)1536842707.0
“Truth isn’t truth,” Puerto Rico hurricane edition https://t.co/JbIHKIqu9E— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@Edward-Isaac Dovere)1536842310.0
wow https://t.co/5MhVpcokon— Jordan Fabian (@Jordan Fabian)1536842420.0
President takes issue with Puerto Rico death count https://t.co/jUItdFgMoc— Philip Rucker (@Philip Rucker)1536842461.0
#TheBuckStopsThere => https://t.co/2F5wxidZpT— David M. Drucker (@David M. Drucker)1536842377.0
@realDonaldTrump It's too early for this shit, Donnie.— Alisha Grauso (@Alisha Grauso)1536842677.0
This is an extraordinary tweet and accusation https://t.co/ELqlfiGDMa— Jonathan Lemire (@Jonathan Lemire)1536843120.0
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A fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has been found in at least 10 states, and people are wondering: How do I protect myself now?
Airborne Particles Are Still the Biggest Problem<p>The <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-it-matters-that-the-coronavirus-is-changing-and-what-this-means-for-vaccine-effectiveness-152383" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">SARS-CoV-2 variants</a> are believed to spread primarily through the air rather than on surfaces.</p><p>When someone with the coronavirus in their respiratory tract coughs, talks, sings or even just breathes, infectious respiratory droplets can be expelled into the air. These droplets are tiny, predominantly in the range of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021850211001200?casa_token=KtyrsEfbeqcAAAAA:vv10sSxm33tzg0EQvNMIFtV7GCu5gE9QAzuyzHKr2_4Cl0OFkUJoGwzn4d0ZnEWS19NsOTuH" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1-100 micrometers</a>. For comparison, a human hair is about 70 micrometers in diameter.</p><p>The larger droplets fall to the ground quickly, rarely traveling farther than 6 feet from the source. The bigger problem for disease transmission is the tiniest droplets – those less than 10 micrometers in diameter – which can remain suspended in the air as aerosols for <a href="https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/50/5/693/325466" target="_blank">hours at a time</a>.</p>
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What Can You Do to Stay Safe?<p>1) Pay attention to the type of face mask you use, and how it fits.</p><p>Most off-the-shelf face coverings are not 100% effective at preventing droplet emission. With the new variant spreading more easily and likely infectious at lower concentrations, it's important to select coverings with materials that are most effective at stopping droplet spread.</p><p>When available, N95 and surgical masks consistently perform the best. Otherwise, face coverings that use <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352431620301802?casa_token=-Dj6nGBAm24AAAAA:qq9BpbzCKaPDFcV73ohA2fCnhE_Zlkss6Bei3kUwq9QYndhHj0Vafbbd-ef_855lx6knDfUt" target="_blank">multiple layers of material</a> are preferable. Ideally, the material should be a tight weave. High thread count cotton sheets are an example. Proper fit is also crucial, as gaps around the nose and mouth can <a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.0c03252" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">decrease the effectiveness by 50%</a>.</p><p>2) Follow social distancing guidelines.</p><p>While the current social distancing guidelines are not perfect – <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-a-smoky-bar-can-teach-us-about-the-6-foot-rule-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-145517" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">6 feet isn't always enough</a> – they do offer a useful starting point. Because aerosol concentrations levels and infectivity are highest in the space immediately surrounding anyone with the virus, increasing physical distancing can help reduce risk. Remember that people are infectious <a href="https://medical.mit.edu/faqs/COVID-19#faq-10" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">before they start showing symptoms</a>, and they many never show symptoms, so don't count on seeing signs of illness.</p><p>3) Think carefully about the environment when entering an enclosed area, both the ventilation and how people interact.</p><p>Limiting the size of gatherings helps reduce the potential for exposure. Controlling indoor environments in other ways can also be a highly effective strategy for reducing risk. This includes <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-a-smoky-bar-can-teach-us-about-the-6-foot-rule-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-145517" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">increasing ventilation rates</a> to bring in <a href="https://theconversation.com/keeping-indoor-air-clean-can-reduce-the-chance-of-spreading-coronavirus-149512" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">fresh air and filtering existing air</a> to dilute aerosol concentrations.</p><p>On a personal level, it is helpful to pay attention to the types of interactions that are taking place. For example, many individuals shouting can create a higher risk than one individual speaking. In all cases, it's important to minimize the amount of time spent indoors with others.</p><p>The CDC has warned that B.1.1.7 could <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7003e2.htm?s_cid=mm7003e2_w" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant</a> in the U.S. by March. Other fast-spreading variants have also been found in <a href="https://virological.org/t/genomic-characterisation-of-an-emergent-sars-cov-2-lineage-in-manaus-preliminary-findings/586" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Brazil</a> and <a href="https://www.who.int/csr/don/31-december-2020-sars-cov2-variants/en/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">South Africa</a>. Increased vigilance and complying with health guidelines should continue to be of highest priority.</p>
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