Trump rejects Puerto Rico hurricane death toll, blames Dems

Donald Trump says Hurricane Maria’s Puerto Rico death toll is a ploy to make him “look bad”

President Donald Trump speaks during a Congressional Medal of Honor Society reception in the East Room of the White House. Susan Walsh AP

The president, who is Puerto Rico's head of state, added that he "loves Puerto Rico!"

Trump is seemingly ignoring the aftereffects of the storm in his tweet and focusing only on deaths attributable to things like flying debris, drowning and structures that collapse. The study was based on a statistical model that subtracted the number of people who, in theory, should have died over the same time period as Hurricane Maria from the number of people who actually died during that time. Ryan noted he had been in Puerto Rico after the hurricane hit and said it had been "devastating". Not only because it seemed indifferent to Puerto Rican suffering, but also because it is demonstrably false.

Katie Pavlich said there can be valid questions about how death tolls are determined and whether the federal or local government is more responsible, but that's an argument for another time.

A George Washington University report said last month that vast numbers of Puerto Ricans died as a direct result of the September 20 storm, far beyond the initial estimate of 64 deaths.

Trump disputed the death toll in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, denying that 3,000 people died on the island.

In a tweet, Trump said 3,000 people did not die in the storms. Last month, it acknowledged in a document filed to Congress that the death toll from Maria was much higher than the official total. One exception, Florida Governor Rick Scott, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, who said, "I disagree with POTUS".

As one hurricane comes toward the U.S., President Trump is fighting back criticism over how his administration handled the last major hurricane. On Thursday, Trump insisted in a pair of tweets that the official death toll was concocted by "Democrats" as part of a conspiracy to "make me look as bad as possible". I hate talking about politics and all that.

The study says the original estimates were so low because doctors on the island had not been trained to properly classify deaths after a natural disaster.

"The aftereffects, people don't talk about that", he said.

Photos of dozens of pallets of bottled water sitting on the runway emerged this week and raised fresh questions about the federal government's handling in the aftermath of Maria, which devastated the island and was responsible for almost 3,000 deaths.

The findings were embraced by the government of Puerto Rico as the study was released.

Thursday's tweets drew the ire of Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of Puerto Rico's capital, San Juan, who has sharply criticized both the president and his administration's response to Maria.

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