Offering condolence to Sri Lanka, Trump overstates death toll to be ‘138 million people’
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Sunday grossly misstated the death toll in a series of deadly explosions in Sri Lanka earlier today to be “138 million people” but deleted and replaced it almost half an hour later — long enough for social media to take notice.
Trump, alongside other global leaders, had quickly issued a statement about the horrific tragedy.
The American leader — known for his aggressive tweeting habits and often senseless typos — offered “heartfelt condolences” to the people of Sri Lanka after the explosions at churches and hotels in the island nation killed more than 200 people.
“Heartfelt condolences from the people of the United States to the people of Sri Lanka on the horrible terrorist attacks on churches and hotels that have killed at least 138 million people and badly injured 600 more. We stand ready to help!” he had tweeted.
The tweet with the typo was especially egregious due to the fact that Sri Lanka’s population is just over 21 million people and his statement saying the attacks “killed at least 138 million people” made it look like the death toll was six times the country’s total population.
Almost 30 minutes later, he replaced the erroneous tweet and wrote: “138 people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more that 600 badly injured, in a terrorist attack on churches and hotels.
138 people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more that 600 badly injured, in a terrorist attack on churches and hotels. The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2019
“The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!”