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Dem lawmaker: Trump must be held accountable for Puerto Rico deaths

May 30, 2018
In The News

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) is demanding President Trump be held accountable after a new study concluded that the death toll in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria is nearly 70 times higher than the official government estimate.

Gallego on Wednesday said in a statement that "these lives were lost in no small part due to the Trump administration's gross negligence."

"The Trump administration's failure to deliver timely and sufficient aid to United States citizens in Puerto Rico was an utterly careless decision with deadly consequences," Gallego said. "The Trump administration must be held accountable for their abject failure to protect and assist our fellow Americans."   

A research team on Tuesday released a study that said the Puerto Rican government substantially underestimated the number of people who died because of Hurricane Maria. 

The study discovered that the mortality rate rose by 62 percent in the last months of 2017 when compared to the same time period in 2016. The researchers say that an adjusted statistic could point to as many as 5,740 more deaths than the official estimate of 64. 

Gallego has frequently criticized Trump. In February, he said the U.S. would "regret the day" Trump was born, after Trump suggested the FBI could have prevented a mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Fla., if it spent less time working on the Russia probe.

"You are such a psychopath that you have to make even the death of 17 children about you," Gallego tweeted. "America will regret the day you were ever born."