BREAKING NEWS : Tornado warning issued for parts of Allen, Whitley and Huntington counties Full Story
BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne police investigate shooting on Sherman Boulevard Full Story

At FEMA, Trump remained mum on new Puerto Rico death toll

President Donald Trump visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday, just over a week after ...

Posted: Jun 7, 2018 5:14 AM
Updated: Jun 7, 2018 5:14 AM

President Donald Trump visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday, just over a week after a new Harvard study estimated more than 4,600 people in Puerto Rico died in Hurricane Maria and its aftermath.

But even as he was briefed on the upcoming hurricane season, the President remained mum on the new estimate, which dwarfs the government's official 64-person death toll. Instead, the President praised FEMA and other US officials, telling them they should be "very proud" of their work to beat back last year's devastating hurricane season.

"We really appreciate the job you've done," Trump told FEMA officials and members of his Cabinet. "I want to thank you very much."

"Our entire government leapt into action to coordinate the response along with state and local leaders," he added.

The President did mention Puerto Rico and several US states that were hard hit by hurricanes last year, but offered no indication the US was reviewing its response to the hurricane in Puerto Rico.

He also offered up praise for all his Cabinet members in attendance, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom he has resumed personally criticizing on Twitter of late.

But Trump offered notably less kind words for Sessions than others, noting merely: "Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Thank you, Jeff. Thank you very much."

Vice President Mike Pence commended US agencies for their response to the hurricanes last year and said the US is just as prepared for the coming hurricane season as it was last year.

"We are prepared, just as we were last year, with those historic and unprecedented hurricanes," Pence said. "I also want to commend all of the agencies represented here for the job that was done last year."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has deflected questions about the new death toll estimate when pressed over the last week.

"The federal response, once again, was at a historic proportion," Sanders said this week when asked if Trump still rated his response to the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico a 10 out of 10. "

Last week, Sanders said Trump "takes the situation in Puerto Rico extremely seriously" and noted that the "two Category 4 hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico were historic."

"We've responded with the largest FEMA operation in history, and we're going to continue to work with the people of Puerto Rico and do everything we can to be helpful," Sanders said.

The study conducted by researchers from Harvard University and other institutions arrived at a 4,645-person death toll estimate by surveying 3,299 randomly chosen households across the island earlier this year. Authors compared results of that survey -- which asked island residents about deaths in their homes, among other things -- with official mortality statistics from 2016. That allowed researchers to estimate the number of deaths that likely occurred as a result of Hurricane Maria between the date of the storm and December 31, 2017.

The Puerto Rican government has said they have no reason to question the estimate.

The new death toll estimate would overshadow the death toll during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, for which the federal response was heavily criticized. Trump in October favorably compared the death toll in Puerto Rico to that of Katrina, which he called "a real catastrophe."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74328

Reported Deaths: 3041
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15860725
Lake7570275
Elkhart484384
Allen3902163
St. Joseph350081
Hamilton2763104
Vanderburgh196313
Hendricks1887108
Cass17959
Johnson1757118
Porter131639
Clark123347
Tippecanoe121111
Madison97965
LaPorte91130
Howard89065
Kosciusko85212
Bartholomew79347
Marshall78422
Floyd77946
Monroe75630
Delaware73052
Dubois69612
Boone67846
Noble67829
Hancock66038
Vigo65110
Jackson5865
Warrick58130
LaGrange55910
Shelby55327
Grant52630
Dearborn50828
Morgan47634
Clinton4343
Henry38320
Wayne37710
White36910
Montgomery35421
Lawrence34627
Harrison33823
Decatur33732
Putnam2888
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25034
Jasper2432
Franklin24214
DeKalb2324
Gibson2254
Jennings22512
Steuben2103
Ripley2087
Carroll1912
Fayette1897
Perry18612
Starke1787
Orange17124
Posey1710
Wabash1693
Fulton1682
Wells1682
Jefferson1632
Knox1540
Whitley1526
Washington1401
Tipton13810
Spencer1363
Sullivan1261
Huntington1223
Randolph1224
Clay1215
Newton11810
Adams1012
Jay910
Owen901
Pulaski831
Rush804
Fountain742
Brown731
Ohio655
Blackford642
Benton610
Pike530
Switzerland520
Vermillion520
Parke511
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren221
Unassigned0206

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 100848

Reported Deaths: 3669
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18317524
Cuyahoga13514499
Hamilton9643255
Lucas5348323
Montgomery436294
Summit3555222
Butler292963
Marion292545
Mahoning2554255
Pickaway238742
Stark1827139
Warren178939
Lorain177078
Columbiana165860
Trumbull1524106
Fairfield138732
Delaware130119
Licking128149
Clark114614
Lake111438
Wood104358
Clermont93311
Medina92335
Miami83938
Tuscarawas78214
Portage75861
Allen74044
Greene69012
Belmont62126
Mercer61213
Richland60412
Erie57527
Ashtabula56946
Geauga55644
Wayne53958
Ross4844
Huron3965
Darke39529
Ottawa38626
Hancock3783
Sandusky37716
Madison37410
Athens3571
Holmes3286
Lawrence2830
Auglaize2546
Union2511
Muskingum2361
Jefferson2292
Scioto2261
Seneca2143
Knox2057
Putnam20517
Preble2032
Washington20322
Shelby1944
Coshocton1936
Champaign1762
Crawford1745
Morrow1702
Hardin16512
Clinton1646
Highland1581
Logan1552
Fulton1481
Wyandot1468
Ashland1443
Defiance1444
Williams1353
Perry1303
Brown1292
Hocking1189
Guernsey1177
Henry1172
Fayette1130
Carroll1115
Monroe9318
Pike760
Jackson740
Van Wert711
Paulding690
Gallia651
Adams612
Meigs400
Vinton312
Harrison261
Morgan260
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 68°
Angola
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Decatur
68° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 68°
Van Wert
68° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 68°
Isolated Showers Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events