Media

NYT columnist slams Trump after cholera reported in Puerto Rico — except there's just one problem

Paul Krugman spread a false rumor about cholera in Puerto Rico as a way to slam President Trump, but there was a major problem with his claim — it wasn't true. He later issued a correction, although it received significantly less attention. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for the New York Times)

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman slammed President Donald Trump in a tweet Saturday after reports surfaced of cholera in Puerto Rico — except there was just one huge problem with Krugman's criticism.

What did he say?

Krugman tweeted: "Cholera. In a US territory. Among US citizens. In the 21st century. Heckuva job, Trumpie."

Cholera is a bacterial disease that causes diarrhea, severe dehydration and can even lead to death. The disease hasn't been a problem in the U.S. for more than a century, but is currently a major problem in third-world countries and impoverished communities.

Is there actually cholera in PR?

It's not clear where Krugman got his information, or who confirmed there is cholera in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria, but it certainly wasn't the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the government agency that works to control and prevent infectious diseases.

Did he correct the record?

Krugman tweeted the claim as an obvious potshot at Trump, who liberals and many others have accused of not responding to the disaster in Puerto Rico in an adequate fashion. Slamming Trump over the island's crisis is so popular right now, in fact, that Krugman's original tweet garnered tens of thousands of retweets and "likes."

He later issued a correction, although it received significantly less attention:

Was he the only one?

Another notable liberal, Kurt Eichenwald, also made the cholera claim. His tweet also garnered tens of thousands of retweets and "likes," despite the information being untrue.

One last thing…
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