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Trump Calls Research Behind Hurricane Maria Deaths 'Magic' in Fresh Attack

16 September 2018

Despite significant evidence showing almost 3,000 people were killed in the devastating storm past year, Trump tweeted that the official death toll was a political scheme, two days after he was sharply criticised for saying the government had an "unsung success" in its response to Maria. The team began working in February and published the results in August, estimating that 2,975 people had died between September 2017 and February 2018 from Hurricane Maria.

The death toll from Maria, the most powerful storm to hit there in nearly a century, was raised last month from 64, a number widely discounted as far too low, to 2,975. Indirect deaths are harder to count because they can include such things as heart attacks, electrocutions from downed power lines and failure to receive dialysis because the power is out - and those kinds of fatalities can happen after a storm has ended but while an area is struggling to restore electricity, clean water and other health and safety services. "Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000", he wrote.

An independent study commissioned by the Puerto Rican government had concluded about 3 000 people died.

Two days after Maria hit the island, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said 13 people died in the hurricane, based on reports from mayors on the island.

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But Trump has been fixated on his administration's response to Hurricane Maria the entire week, starting when he defended the federal response in Puerto Rico as an "unsung success" seen as Hurricane Florida approached the east coast.

Trump reignited the controversy around the US government's management of the disaster when he said Tuesday it was an "incredible, unsung success".

"I think if you haven't lost someone in Puerto Rico, if you're just an American citizen, if you're just a human and have any empathy for anyone else, you should feel that this is grotesque", she said. She then added, "It's sad to me that a natural disaster has to get political, I don't think President Trump is exclusively to blame for what happened, Puerto Rico had a number of its own problems before Maria even hit, they were filing for bankruptcy". Former congressman and GOP gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis - an ardent Trump defender who campaigned with the president during the Republican primary - also said he disagreed with Trump Thursday.

"We've been battling through it", Cora said, via NBC Sports Boston.

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"Physician unawareness of appropriate death certification practices. and the government of Puerto Rico's lack of communication about the death certificate process.substantially limited the count of deaths related to María". "The iceberg wasn't like 'I didn't kill nobody, I just scraped some paint off a boat, you can take that other sh*t up with the ocean man'".

One of those joining Pelosi was Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), the first Puerto Rican woman to be elected to Congress.

The president visited the Houston area previous year in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and got blasted by many for not showing empathy toward the survivors.

"The George Washington University study analyzed the total number of deaths during a six-month period and compared them to historical patterns - without classifying any death as a result of Maria".

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Trump Calls Research Behind Hurricane Maria Deaths 'Magic' in Fresh Attack