Trump Accuses Democrats of Altering Statistics on Hurricane Deaths in Puerto Rico

Win McNamee  Getty Images

Win McNamee Getty Images

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Thursday to lambast an official report on Puerto Rico following Hurricanes Irma and Maria previous year, accusing Democrats of inflating the number of deaths.

Trump said on Twitter that "they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths" at the time he visited the island after the storm.

"As time went by it did not go up by much", Trump wrote. That figure was then compared to the number of deaths reported from September 2017, when the hurricane hit, to February 2018, when the island still struggled with blackouts and a shortages of essential supplies on the road to recovery.

Puerto Rico's governor last month raised Maria's official death toll from 64 to 2,975 after an independent study found that the number of people who succumbed in the sweltering aftermath had been severely undercounted.

'3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico, ' the president tweeted. "We see it that way. I think most Americans feel that way as well", Stewart, R-Utah, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Wednesday evening.

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"I cannot assure you that all the water is good", he said. He went down there, he did what he did. "I don't think it's bad to say we could have done better in Puerto Rico". "This is about a country that really suffered". Everybody's panicking. It's not easy.

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. Like, do we need help?

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. "When you don't have food, you don't have water, no communication, no medicine". Cora had first-hand knowledge of the storm. She added: "Damn it: this is NOT about politics this was always about SAVING LIVES". "This is about human beings".

The day quickly became a case study in the tactics that Republicans use to avoid crossing Trump, who rarely forgets a slight. "We are confident that the number - 2,975 - is the most accurate and unbiased estimate of excess mortality to date". He also trafficked in racist stereotypes about lazy Latinos by suggesting that people in Puerto Rico "want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort".

"We're not where we were". And I respect him. "The president has sold out the United States for the benefit of Putin".

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