As Twitchy reported, the media went wild last week when a report from Harvard University estimated that nearly 5,000 people in Puerto Rico had died from Hurricane Maria.

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog, though, took a look at how Harvard, whose researchers admitted they conducted “a quick study on a limited budget,” came up with that number and found that the methodology was ridiculously flawed:

In effect, the researchers took one number — 15 deaths identified from a survey of 3,299 households — and extrapolated that to come up with 4,645 deaths across the island. That number came with a very large caveat, clearly identified in the report, but few news media accounts bothered to explain the nuances.

The Post’s Glenn Kessler updated his fact-check with new information as it came in: “More recent data released by Puerto Rico after this fact check was published suggests the number is closer to 1,400.”

Apparently, CNN didn’t get a chance to look at that more recent data, because CNN’s Jeremy Diamond is still reporting the number of dead as more than 4,600 … and taking a swipe at President Trump for not mentioning the debunked number in a meeting at FEMA headquarters Wednesday on the government’s preparations for hurricane season.

Even MSNBC’s Chris Hayes made mention of the very dubious Harvard numbers:

If CNN wanted to project the narrative that President Trump just doesn’t care, well, mission accomplished.


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