Nation
    Next Score View the next score

    Here are 8 studies disputing Trump’s claim that the hurricane death toll was low

    President Trump on Thursday claimed the number of people who died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico “did not go up by much” beyond the initial counts that were released just after the storm and put the death toll in the single or low double digits.

    But Trump’s assertion defies the findings of at least eight different studies that estimated the number of deaths to be at least several hundred, if not more than 1,000.

    That includes one report that estimated the death toll was 2,975 — a figure that the government of Puerto Rico has adopted as the official count.

    Advertisement

    In a pair of tweets Thursday, Trump appeared to specifically attack the findings of that study.

    Get Ground Game in your inbox:
    Daily updates and analysis on national politics from James Pindell.
    Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

    The tweets came after Trump on Wednesday, as Hurricane Florence approached the Southeast US coast, attacked criticism lobbed in recent months over the federal government’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, calling his administration’s efforts “underappreciated.”

    Below is a list of studies that have estimated the death toll there. The list is arranged to show the most recent studies first.

    2,975 deaths

    August 2018 estimate from a study led by researchers at George Washington University

    (The Puerto Rican government commissioned this study. When the analysis was published, the government updated its official death toll to reflect this number after claiming for months that there were only 64 deaths.)

    1,006—1,272 deaths

    Advertisement

    August 2018 estimate that updated a preliminary November 2017 study led by a researcher at Pennsylvania State University

    793—8,498 deaths

    July 2018 estimate from a study led by researchers at Harvard University

    1,427 deaths

    July 2018 estimate from a study led by the government of Puerto Rico

    1,052 deaths

    June 2018 estimate from an analysis by The New York Times

    605—1,039 deaths

    February 2018 estimate from researchers at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez

    1,065 deaths

    Advertisement

    December 2017 estimate from an analysis by the Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico

    1,085 deaths

    November 2017 preliminary estimate from a study led by researcher at Pennsylvania State University

    Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mrochele.