U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday he had “no reason” to dispute Puerto Rico’s official death toll of 3,000 from last year’s Hurricane Maria, speaking after his fellow Republican President Donald Trump accused Democrats of inflating the death toll to make the president look bad.
“Casualties don’t make a person look bad,” Ryan told reporters at a regular press conference, “so I have no reason to dispute these numbers.” Ryan noted he had been in Puerto Rico after the hurricane hit and said it had been “devastating. This was a horrible storm.”
NEW: House Speaker Paul Ryan responds to Pres. Trump disputing a report of the death toll in Puerto Rico: “I have no reason to dispute these numbers. I was in Puerto Rico after the hurricane, it was devastated” https://t.co/zRx8JbGgm3 pic.twitter.com/vdfvLjLicu
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) September 13, 2018
You’re right, Mr. President. The Hurricane didn’t kill 3,000 people. Your botched response did. https://t.co/PifAMD9aaE
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) September 13, 2018
This isn’t about you and it isn’t a political game. Nearly 3,000 Americans died in Puerto Rico. We need answers not heartless attempts to duck responsibility. https://t.co/K8pMV4LcRN
— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) September 13, 2018
.@realDonaldTrump prefers his “alternative facts” to the tragedy faced by families of the lost. Worse still, the GOP is determined to shield his insulting behavior from accountability. It’s time for Republicans in Congress to get back to performing our crucial oversight function. https://t.co/f2j2pEfQYa
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) September 13, 2018
This is what your math looks like when you count black or brown lives less than white lives. https://t.co/loYdbF4yLr
— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) September 13, 2018
Your comments display an ignorance as large as the storm itself.
The death toll was due to a lack of access to potable water and power, and because the nation failed to bring a sense of urgency to the relief effort commensurate with the size of the disaster — and still has. https://t.co/bAIpz9dwYk
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 13, 2018