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

14 September 2018

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 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.

He also said the Democrats were "trying to make [him] look bad" by reporting the high numbers of deaths.

In August, George Washington University released a study estimating that 2,975 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria.

The report came almost a year after a much-maligned visit to Puerto Rico by Trump two weeks after Maria, where he implied that residents should be "proud" that the official death toll at the time was just 16 people, far lower than that of a "real catastrophe, like Katrina". Then, a long time later, they started...

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Trump's comments come as Hurricane Florence, now a category 2 storm, hurtles towards the Carolina coast, threatening millions in its path.

In estimating the "true" death toll, researchers looked at historical data to estimate how many people would have died had the hurricane not hit the island. His ally, Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rosselló, also attacked Trump, saying, "No relationship between a colony and the federal government can ever be called "successful" because Puerto Ricans lack certain inalienable rights enjoyed by our fellow Americans in the states". He said just six to 18 people had been reported dead when he visited two weeks after the storm and suggested that many had been added later "if a person died for any reason, like old age".

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.

President Trump is pushing back at media claims that his administration's lackluster response to Hurricane Maria helps explain the devastating death toll in Puerto Rico. "We're not able to say that now", the dean of GW's Milken Institute School of Public Health, Lynn Goldman, told CNN late last month. It took more than 11 months, for example, to fully restore electricity.

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On Wednesday, Puerto Rican officials said about 20,000 pallets of water bottles shipped to Puerto Rico after Maria went unused and became too contaminated to drink. But it wasn't only the mayor who criticized Trump.

"He's talking about the one a year ago, because he's been tweeting a lot about what a great job he did responding to Hurricane Maria, that decimated Puerto Rico last year", Colbert said.

No one suggests that Trump was primarily responsible for the deaths in Puerto Rico.

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