Trump Falsely Claims Revised Puerto Rico Death Toll Is Fake News

White House defends Trump on Puerto Rico death toll claim

He's talking about the one a year ago because he's been tweeting a lot about how good a job he did responding to Hurricane Maria that decimated Puerto Rico last year, resulting in the death of nearly 3,000 American citizens.

"They say all these people died in the storm in Puerto Rico, yet 70% of power was out before the storm".

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

"When I left the Island, after the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths", Trump tweeted.

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".

Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett reports. Researchers used what they called a "state-of-the-art mathematical model", which Trump misrepresented - wrongly saying the study counted deaths "for any reason, like old age". "I hate talking about politics and all that, but I think this is more than politics", Cora said.

That includes one report that estimated the death toll was 2,975 - a figure that the government of Puerto Rico has adopted as the official count.

"Get out of its way, don't play games with it, it's a big one, maybe as big as they've seen", Mr Trump said. "We deserve and expect more from someone who holds the highest office in our country", Nelson wrote on Twitter - and shortly thereafter released the identical statement in Spanish.

However Trump implied the death toll was revised for political reasons.


The president ignited controversy when he tweeted that the approximate 3,000 death toll was inflated by Democrats.

Hurricane Florence began battering North Carolina on Thursday night, beginning an onslaught that will provide the Federal Emergency Management Agency a chance to fix its bruised reputation following the federal response to Hurricane Maria.

There's growing sentiment that this is the worst tweet by Trump ever. More than 100 people died as a result of both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Ramona Gonzalez did not drown when Hurricane Maria drenched Puerto Rico.

After reading the president's outrageous tweets to his audience, Colbert marveled at Trump's "love" for Puerto Rico, despite frequently trashing the local government there.

Largely due to decades of neglect and years of fiscal crisis, the Puerto Rican electrical grid collapsed into the United States' longest-ever blackout after Maria hit on September 20, 2017. Prior to becoming a candidate, she had minor political experience working for the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016.

"Damn it: this is NOT about politics this was always about SAVING LIVES".

Trump maintained as recently as Tuesday that his response to the storm was an "incredible unsung success".

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