The head of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is trying to defend President Trump, who sparked outrage last week by falsely claiming that thousands of people did not die in Puerto Rico last year in the wake of Hurricane Maria. This is FEMA Administrator Brock Long, speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Brock Long: “These studies are all over the place. The Harvard study was done differently, studies a different period of time versus the George Washington study. There’s a big discrepancy, whether it’s direct deaths or indirect deaths.”
FEMA Administrator Brock Long also spoke on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” in which he suggested that some of the post-Maria deaths may be attributed to spousal abuse, saying, “You can’t blame spousal abuse after a disaster on anybody.”
Brock Long: “You know, the other thing that goes on, there’s all kinds of studies on this that we take a look at. Spousal abuse goes through the roof. You can’t blame spousal abuse, you know, after a disaster on anybody.”
The official death toll from Hurricane Maria stands at 2,975. One Harvard study has estimated that the death toll might be as high as 4,645 people.