Paul Krugman, the anti-Trump New York Times columnist, blamed President Trump — who he derisively referred to as “Trumpie” — for a cholera outbreak in Puerto Rico that has not actually occurred.
The Noble Prize winning economist claimed on Twitter Saturday that cholera had spread through the U.S. territory in the wake of Hurricane Maria, a devastating Category 4 storm that hit on Sept. 20.
Like many liberals, Krugman has claimed that Trump has failed to respond adequately to the storm, which has left Puerto Rico’s power grid in shambles and many of its citizens without sufficient drinking water and fuel.
But while cholera often appears in areas with poor sanitation and without clean drinking water, the disease has not yet appeared on the island. That didn’t stop Krugman from claiming that it had.
Krugman’s claim was based on a false rumor. He corrected the tweet Saturday evening, while still taking a shot at Trump.
Krugman’s initial false accusation was widely circulated on social media, while his follow-up correction received less attention. His first tweet was re-tweeted 10,000 times. The correction received only 286 re-tweets as of this writing.