Trump to Puerto Rico governor: I think we’ve helped you a lot

UPI Photo

President Trump on Thursday told the governor of Puerto Rico that his administration has done “a lot” to help the territory recover after two devastating hurricanes that hit last year.

Trump made the comments to Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló during a working lunch with U.S. governors, according to reporters in the room.

Video of Thursday’s lunch was not immediately available.

Trump’s administration faced criticism last year with some saying it was too slow to mobilize resources to help the island.

Trump’s claim also comes after it was revealed that the death toll in Puerto Rico from the storms could be as high as 5,000, more than 70 times the territorial government’s official estimate.


“Our results indicate that the official death count of 64 is a substantial underestimate of the true burden of mortality after Hurricane Maria,” the researchers wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The president also joked with Rosselló during the meeting that he would support statehood for Puerto Rico, which the governor supports, if Puerto Rico promised to elect two Republican senators.

Trump has frequently given his administration high marks for Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts, famously giving himself a “10” on rating scale during a press conference in October.

“We have provided so much, so fast,” Trump said at the time, adding that the storm was “worse than Katrina.”

The president has not officially commented on the new death toll, which was counted by Harvard researchers and is not officially recognized by Puerto Rico’s government.

Tags Death toll Donald Trump Donald Trump Harvard Hurricane Irma Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Ricardo Rosselló

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