Just as Americans prepare for an approaching hurricane, President Trump has seized attention by offering a conspiracy theory about an earlier storm. The new storm is Florence, approaching the Carolinas today. The old one was Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico last year. Public health officials now estimate that about 3,000 people lost their lives as a consequence of that storm. And President Trump is saying today that number was developed to make him look bad.
Joining us now is Adriana De Jesus Salaman. She's a reporter from NotiCel and joins us on the line from Puerto Rico. Good morning.
ADRIANA DE JESUS SALAMAN: Good morning. How are you?
INSKEEP: I'm doing fine, thank you. So the president asserts 3,000 people did not die in the hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. He says when he visited Puerto Rico after the storm, it was less than 20 deaths, and only later did the death figure go up. I guess that is literally true. But why was it that the death figure took so long to climb?
SALAMAN: Well, for about a year since Hurricane Maria, the government officials had been hell-bent that the death count was 64 — the official death count. Obviously, that, you know, as you guys know, that sparked a lot of rumors. But the government still believed that the official death count was 64. It was 16 when Trump came to Puerto Rico. And right when Air Force One left, it rose up to, like, 36, which also sparked a lot of suspicion.
INSKEEP: But it's interesting that you mentioned this. It was Puerto Rican officials who were giving a low death toll.
INSKEEP: It ultimately was outsiders who conducted their own study that found many more deaths, right?
SALAMAN: Yeah. It was mainly news organizations, investigative reporters like Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, and then I think CNN joined in. And obviously, local and international media got involved in that conversation because it was very obvious when you had people telling you, hey, my uncle died because he didn't have access to a generator and his health condition requires him to have electricity, but he's not in the official death count, and so and so.
INSKEEP: Now you're just raising a really interesting point that I want to drive home here. One reason that it might've taken a while to get such a high death count is that people didn't necessarily die on the day of the storm. We're talking about people who went months without electricity, for example, and that's the kind of thing that tends to increase mortality.
SALAMAN: Yeah. It's not just direct causes like, you know, flooding or extreme winds and taking your roof off your head. It's also indirect. That's the lack of electricity, the lack of running water, the lack of food. That's why the government hired an institution — George Washington University — to make the official death count. But if you see their study, their study comprehends September throughout February. So the government — they knew that the indirect causes kept being — you know, shown up since September from a long period of time.
INSKEEP: Just very briefly, does the Puerto Rican government now accept this figure of close to 3,000 dead?
SALAMAN: They seemed like they accepted it because they paid for the study for George Washington University, but they don't fully accept it just yet.
INSKEEP: Interesting. So still some discussion here. And we have the backdrop to a conspiracy theory offered by President Trump today. Adriana De Jesus Salaman of NotiCel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, thank you very much.
SALAMAN: Oh, thank you for having me.
在美国为应对一场逐渐逼近的飓风作准备时，特朗普总统因对早前一场风暴提出的阴谋理论而引发关注 。今天正在不断靠近卡罗来纳州的风暴名为“弗罗伦斯” 。此前那场风暴名为“玛利亚”，该飓风去年对波多黎各造成了重创 。现在，公共卫生官员估计飓风“玛利亚”造成约3000人死亡 。但是特朗普总统今天表示，死亡人数被大幅提高，目的是让他难堪 。
下面我们将连线阿德里亚娜·德杰西·沙拉曼 。她是NotiCel网络报纸的记者，现在将从波多黎各和我们连线 。早上好 。
因斯基普：我很好，谢谢 。总统坚称侵袭波多黎各的飓风并未造成3000人遇难 。他说风暴来袭后他去波多黎各进行了视察，当时死亡人数不到20人，而之后死亡人数开始上升 。我认为可以说那是事实 。但是为什么过了这么长时间以后死亡人数才开始攀升 。
沙拉曼：飓风“玛利亚”肆虐约一年之后，政府官员仍固执地称死亡人数为64人，这是官方给出的死亡人数统计数据 。显然，如你们所知，这引发了许多传言 。但是政府依然认为官方死亡人数为64人 。特朗普前往波多黎各视察时，死亡人数为16人 。而在总统专机“空军一号”离开波多黎各之后，死亡人数上升至36人，这同样引发了许多怀疑 。
因斯基普：你提到的一个信息值得注意 。给出低死亡人数统计的是波多黎各官员 。
沙拉曼：没错 。研究的主要参与方包括新闻机构、波多黎各中央调查中心等调查记者机构，后来CNN加入了调查 。显然，当地媒体和国际媒体也参与了调查谈话，因为会有人告诉你，“嘿，我叔叔去世了，因为他不能用发电机，而他的身体状况需要电力的支持，可是他并不在官方死亡人数统计中 。”类似于这样的情况还有很多 。
因斯基普：你刚提到了一个我想了解的重点 。经过一段时间得出如此高的死亡人数统计的其中一个原因是，人们不一定是在风暴侵袭那天死亡的 。举例来说，有些人可能因为数个月没有电力而死亡，类似这种情况会导致死亡人数增加 。
沙拉曼：对 。不只是洪水、极端大风以及被坍塌的屋顶砸到等导致死亡的直接原因 。还有一些间接原因 。比如电力不足、自来水供应短缺、食物短缺等 。这也是政府委托乔治华盛顿大学统计官方死亡人数的原因 。但是，如果你看到他们的研究结果，你会发现他们的研究包括了从9月至次年2月的数据 。因此，政府也清楚，自9月之后的很长一段时间，间接原因导致的死亡人数一直在增加 。
因斯基普：这值得注意 。目前仍有一些讨论在进行 。我们刚刚介绍了特朗普总统今天提出阴谋理论的背景 。以上是NotiCel网络报纸的阿德里亚娜·德杰西·沙拉曼从波多黎各圣胡安带来的报道，非常谢谢你 。
1. prepare for 为…做准备；筹备；
The Party leadership is using management consultants to help prepare for the next election.
2. go up （价格、数量或水平）上涨，上升；
People have been estimated to have 3-5 careers in a lifetime and that will probably go up as time goes on.
3. get involved in 卷入的；参与的；与…有密切关联的；
Day care enables women to get involved in other activities.
4. show up 出现；
As you move forward on your dream, doubt and fear are going to show up sooner than you might have expected.