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Donald Trump claims '3,000 people did not die' in Puerto Rico hurricane

14 September 2018

"This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico".

Especially upset were GOP politicians in Florida, a state with a substantial Puerto Rican population.

They extrapolated that data to estimate 4,600 people died as a direct result of the hurricane, including those who were not able to access vital medical treatment.

At 6:17 a.m., Andrew Gillum, the Democrat running for Florida governor, tweeted: "No death is partisan and our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico deserved better from @realDonaldTrump before, during and after the hurricane". A study published in 2014, nearly a full decade after the hurricane left huge swaths of New Orleans flooded and hospitals without power, attributed 1,170 deaths to Hurricane Katrina - 184 more than a widely cited 2008 study on the subject, thanks to new availability of autopsy data.

Rossello says he accepted as the official death toll an independent analysis that almost 3,000 died in Puerto Rico from the September 2017 storm.

Marqués was one of the lead authors in a Harvard study, published in May, which also found a death toll in the thousands. The university issued a statement Thursday, saying it stood by that study. Trump believed those recovery efforts were a success story he could use to turn a tide of negative press stories after a troubled August, said one official who was not authorized to speak publicly. "Today I've seen that the number and process to find excess deaths has been questioned and it is something that we have to leave behind", he said, in Spanish.

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San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a vocal critic of the administration's handling of the storm, has cast blame on the federal government for failing to provide adequate assistance in the aftermath of the storm, and she slammed Trump's assertion Tuesday.

Maria devastated the island in September 2017 and knocked out the entire electricity grid. Bottom line is, we are concentrating on what we call critical lifelines - health, safety, security.

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

Rubio also sent out a series of tweets explaining that the early response to Maria "wasn't good, but not because the Fed Govt. didn't care".

President Donald Trump's pathological inability to admit error, his insatiable appetite for praise, his complete absence of empathy and his debilitating weakness for conspiracy theories have now combined to create a grotesque, if predictable, spectacle.

Puerto Rico's government is run by the New Progressive party, a pro-statehood, Puerto Rico-only party.

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State and local officials are responsible for establishing death tolls, not the federal government. "But we will be there, and it's just a matter of time", Cora said.

The island is still suffering power failures and around 60,000 homes still have makeshift roofs.

Connolly is a senior member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Ryan noted he had been in Puerto Rico after the hurricane hit and said it had been "devastating".

Cruz maintains the federal government's response to the hurricane was slow and inadequate while Trump said it was a success. By increasing the official death toll, he is not just making Trump look bad - he is making himself look bad, too, not only for possible mismanagement of the hurricane response but also for releasing such unrealistically low fatality figures initially.

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Donald Trump claims '3,000 people did not die' in Puerto Rico hurricane