Outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has said that he secretly works to prevent President Trump-induced "tragedies," but apparently the hurricane relief effort for Puerto Rico was not one of them.
Ryan on Thursday said that the nearly 3,000 deaths following Hurricane Maria's devastating impact on Puerto Rico were "really no one's fault," reports USA Today. Trump baselessly claimed Thursday morning that Democrats had inflated the death toll in Puerto Rico "to make me look bad," falsely declaring that the estimated 2,975 people "did not die" as a result of an inadequate response. A government report found "excess mortality" from power outages and water shortages over several months following the storm, and local officials criticized the at-times botched federal efforts.
Asked about Trump's statements, Ryan said he had "no reason to dispute those numbers" from the report, pointing out that "roads were washed out, power was gone, and the casualties mounted for a long time," but he stopped short of placing any blame on Trump. "Casualties don't make a person look bad," he said, defending the Trump administration's response to the hurricane by saying the high death count was a mere "function of this devastating storm that hit an isolated island." Read more at USA Today. Summer Meza