If Isabel Rivera Gonzalez is one of the 3,000 people being counted as having lost her life because of Hurricane Maria, Donald Trump may be correct to question the George Washington University study.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper spent the majority of his show Thursday night trashing Donald Trump’s tweet about the death toll from Hurricane Maria and spoke with Carmen Cruz, the daughter of Isabel Riveria Gonzalez, who says her mother lost her life due to Hurricane Maria.
Cooper told Cruz, “I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a person who lost — in this case your mom — in the wake of the storm, to then be told by the President of the United States, that your mom didn’t die as a result of this storm.” The CNN host then went on to ask Cruz “how she (Rivera) lost her life?”
Cruz responded, “Well she had to go to the hospital because she gained water in her lungs. So when she went to the hospital she stood there, at the day that she died she was supposed to get the operation, but there was no power. The power had gone. The generator broke. So meanwhile, while they’re waiting for it to get fixed she had three heart attacks at the same time, because of the water she regained inside her body. She couldn’t take it, so her body just gave up, and she passed away because there were no resources for her at all.”
“I’m disgusted. It’s so disgusting, because that’s my mom.”
Carmen Cruz, whose mother died waiting for an operation after Hurricane Maria, in Puerto Rico, describes her feeling on Pres. Trump’s false claims on the death toll and his government’s response https://t.co/TJrFKbK2ox pic.twitter.com/UC8M8Z8GgU
— CNN International (@cnni) September 14, 2018
However, Cruz’s claim that her mother died as a result of the hospital not having power was debunked by the hospital — and had even been previously reported on by CNN.
In an article from CNN.com in October of 2017, CNN spoke with Dr. Luis Rosa. Rosa is the medical director for Manatí Medical Center, the hospital that treated Cruz’s mother. Rosa told CNN, “The hospital had the ability to perform the procedure with a small emergency generator but elected not to because she had not responded to other treatments.” Additionally, “Rivera had been to the hospital before the storm with heart-related issues, she was too unstable to undergo that procedure to remove fluid from her lungs.” Rosa added, “a pre-existing heart condition led to Rivera’s death, not the outage.”
Instead of challenging Cruz’s claims about her mother’s death, Cooper told Cruz “say her name just in case the president’s watching, just so he knows your mom’s name and the life she lived.” Cruz told Cooper, “She had 10 to 15 more years in her life because she came from a strong Puerto Rican family.”
During the interview, CNN posted the headline “Keeping Them Honest” on the screen.
This is the tweet from earlier in the day from President Donald Trump:
…..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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2018
Cruz, when asked about the tweet, told Cooper, “I can’t stand him. I’m just without words because you don’t do that, basically you’re telling me we’re not human we’re not part of anything.”