PERTH AMBOY – Veteran Mayor Wilda Diaz today denounced a tweet by President Donald J. Trump in which he inaccurately claimed that Democrats inflated Puerto Rican death toll numbers in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria to make him look bad.
Diaz has deep Puerto Rican roots, and she went to the island twice after the hurricane to lend her assistance delivering 400,000 pounds of food to the town of San Sebastian.
“Trump is so disconnected, dismissive and heartless,’ Diaz told InsiderNJ. “The facts are that Trump has treated Puerto Rico differently. He doesn’t value the lives of Puerto Ricans.”
Diaz said many her family have served in the United States military, including her son, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
But it doesn’t matter to the president, she said.
“He has total disregard and disrespect for an entire community,” Diaz said. “We are American citizens, whether he likes it or not. We are Americans and we have always worked for the betterment of this community. This is my heritage.
“This president’s leadership has failed Puerto Rico and failed this country,” the mayor added.
Trump’s entire widely discredited tweet appears below:
“3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000. This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!”