Yesterday –or was it the day before — I woke up to President PNoy saying noooo, all those estimates of 10k dead are exaggerated, it’s really around 2,300 to 2,500.  And I thought — why is he saying that?  How does he know?  And what possible good does it do to minimize the death toll?

And then of course I thought … well, either a) he knows something we don’t, or b) he has political reasons for wanting to minimize it.

Then today comes the news that the UN says it’s confirmed that the death toll is at 4,460.

4,460 people confirmed dead in Philippines typhoon, UN says

4,460 people have been confirmed dead in the Philippines typhoon, the United Nations said Thursday, quoting a government agency.

U.S. officials said Wednesday that the number of American troops helping the relief effort in the Philippines could triple to more than 1,000 by the end of the week

Senior Obama administration officials say that after a very difficult first few days, they are cautiously optimistic that logistical bottlenecks that have held up large quantities of aid material are easing.

On Thursday, the Navy’s George Washington Strike Group, led by the aircraft carrier USS George Washington arrived in the Leyte Gulf to expand search-and-rescue operations, provide medical care and a platform for helicopters to move supplies to remote areas. The strike group joins several U.S. ships and aircraft that are already in the area.

About 600,000 people displaced by last week’s powerful storm that struck the central Philippines, and many remain hungry, thirsty and sick. The Southeast Asian nation is a U.S. treaty ally, and Washington is providing $20 million in immediate aid and ships and aircraft to help distribute supplies.

Note that it says the UN is “quoting a government agency”….. It doesn’t say which agency, but it’s not, apparently, the Office of the President.




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