Aug 29, 2018

Trump says government did a "fantastic job" with Hurricane Maria

President Donald Trump attends a briefing with senior military personnel and Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello. Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

A day after the Puerto Rican governor raised Hurricane Maria's death toll to 2,975 — higher than Hurricane Katrina — President Donald Trump defended his administration's storm response, saying it did "a fantastic job."

Why this matters: Trump has continued to come under criticism for responding too slowly and inadequately to the Category 4 storm, which knocked out the entire island's power grid and caused a humanitarian disaster. If the revised death count is correct, it would make Hurricane Maria one of the deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Wednesday, Trump also claimed the island had lost power before the storm struck on September 20, 2017.

"Don't forget their electric plant was dead before the hurricane. If you look back on your records you'll see that the plant was dead, it was shut, it was bankrupt, it was out of business... And then when the hurricane came people said what are we going to do about electricity. That wasn't really the hurricane, that was gone before the hurricane."

Be smart: While the island's power authority was in dire financial straits prior to the storm, the grid was functioning, having escaped major damage from Hurricane Irma in the weeks before.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,202,236 — Total deaths: 64,703 — Total recoveries: 246,198Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 311,301 — Total deaths: 8,476 — Total recoveries: 14,694Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. 1 🏀 thing: The WNBA postpones start of training camps and season.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases top 1.2 million

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The number of novel coronavirus cases surpassed 1.2 million worldwide Saturday night, as Spain overtook Italy as the country with the most infections outside the U.S. The global death toll has surpassed 64,700, per Johns Hopkins data.

The latest: The United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth II will speak in a televised address on the coronavirus Sunday of the "disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all," per the BBC. The U.K. death toll rose 708 to 4,313 on Saturday — the fourth highest in the world.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 8,400

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the coronavirus surpassed 8,400 in the U.S. on Saturday, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day for the past four days, since April 1.

The big picture: President Trump said Saturday America's is facing its "toughest week, between this week and next week." Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the U.S. should expect to see deaths continue to rise in this period.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health