Ever since Hurricane Maria hit, there was one thing that the left wanted. And it wanted it now.
More dead Puerto Ricans.
The low death toll undermined efforts by the media to transform the hurricane into a Trump scandal. It made a mockery of Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz warning about genocide before sending her aide over to the nearest t-shirt printing shop, miraculously left standing, to print up another slogan shirt for CNN.
The media spread urban legends of morgues packed with thousands of corpses. But they never materialized. Congressional Democrats demanded an investigation to expose the full death toll.
The ‘Deathers’ weren’t satisfied with the official death toll of 64 dead.
Now Harvard has delivered. “Hurricane Maria killed more than 4,600 in Puerto Rico, not 64,” USA Today blares. “A New Study Says Nearly 6,000 Died In Puerto Rico,” BuzzFeed shouts. “Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria Death Toll Could Exceed 4,000,” the New York Times reports slightly more cautiously.
4,000, 4,600 or 6,000. Which is it?
This is what comes of a media monopoly that thinks fact checks are only for Republicans.
“Hurricane Maria: 4,645 Died In Puerto Rico From Storm In 2017,” NPR claims. That’s more specific. It’s also the number that Mayor Cruz is wearing on her hat.
Except that the margin of error is “plus or minus 3,852.” That’s a sizable margin. Maybe 793 people or 8,498 people died. It’s hard to find room on a hat for all those numbers. And where do they come from?
Did researchers from the hallowed halls of Harvard actually count graves and assemble a list of all the people who died in Hurricane Maria?
Come on. That’s too much work. So the Harvard researchers took it easy.
Instead they surveyed 3,299 random Puerto Rican households, used the survey results to generate a death rate of 14.3 per 1,000 between September 20, the date the hurricane hit, and December 31.
That’s over 100 days after the hurricane hit.
Then they compared those numbers to the same period in 2016 and produced 4,645 deaths.
This is not a verified list of deaths due to Hurricane Maria. It’s a pile of conjectures, assumptions and statistical bunny hops. It also leapfrogs Puerto Rico’s actual review being conducted by George Washington University researchers under a GWU dean that will review actual death certificates.
‘Deathers’ insist that death certificates are not meaningful. Their own numbers take into account anyone who might have died indirectly due to the impact of the hurricane. Power failures. Communications outages. Roads being washed out. But we can’t actually know whether an ill person would have died if the hurricane hadn’t hit. Or if any amount of infrastructure would have made it possible for the entire island to maintain power when being hit by a hurricane. Probably not.
New York City has some of the densest infrastructure in the world, but after Hurricane Sandy hit it still took months to restore power to some residents.
The official death toll, sneered at by the media, counts the number of people actually killed by the hurricane. The ‘Deathers’ want to count everyone who might have possibly lived otherwise.
But we’ll never know.
The Harvard study rejects birth certificates but compares its survey generated death rate to “official vital-statistics data for 2016” and then it “calculated excess deaths in Puerto Rico.”
See the full story here.
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