the method used to conjure up the new, higher death count for the Puerto Rico hurricanes took "more expansive views of mortality both in disaster impact and disaster time than any previous storm."
wiki lists the death from Sandy in the US in 1992 as 157 (71 direct and 85 "indirect," which the links describe:
At least 87 deaths, an even greater number than for direct deaths, were indirectly associated with Sandy or its remnants in the United States. About 50 of these deaths were the result of extended power outages
during cold weather, which led to deaths from hypothermia, falls in the dark by senior citizens, or carbon monoxide poisoning from improperly placed generators or cooking devices. The remaining deaths were mostly from storm cleanup efforts, including removing falling trees, and car accidents.
(my note: in the wiki table, 87 is the total number of indirect deaths: 85 in the US, 1 in Canada, 1 in Jamaica)
If you say 2,975 were killed in Puerto Rico versus 157 from Sandy, you're not comparing like-with-like, because the increased mortality is included in one number (Puerto Rico) but not the other.
The accurate comparison would be 64 for Puerto Rico versus 157 for Sandy.
Or work out the increased mortality associated with Sandy and compare that to the 2,975 in Puerto Rico.
How would people view Obama's handling of Sandy if they were told 1,372 people died in NJ rather than 157 total in the US?
If you use the figures from here:
Hurricane Sandy (New Jersey): Mortality Rates in the Following Month and Quarter
We found a 6% increase in 1-month and 7% increase in 3-month all-cause mortality after Hurricane Sandy.
Figure 1 illustrates monthly New Jersey all-cause mortality from 2008 to 2013. For the Sandy month, all-cause mortality was
875 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 813,941) per 100 000 person-years with an adjusted RR of 1.06 (95% CI = 1.02, 1.11; P= .006) and for the Sandy quarter was 932 (95% CI = 869, 1000) per 100 000 person-years with an adjusted RR of 1.07 (95% CI = 1.05, 1.10; P <.001).
Population of NJ is 9 million,
9 million for a quarter gives 20,970 if the mortality rate was 932 per 100,000 person years
excess was 7% or 1,372