Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Trump denies 3,000 died as a result of Hurricane Maria

Trump denies 3,000 died as a result of Hurricane Maria

"Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3,000".

The Republican president went on to accuse Democrats of inflating the death toll to make him look bad, without providing evidence.

The death toll for those who died from the 2017 hurricane was raised last month from 64 to almost 3,000 people.

Cruz said she spoke with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Wilmington, North Carolina, Mayor Bill Saffo to "just (let) them know, we know how it feels".

Many of those deaths occurred in the months after the disaster struck when FEMA help was most needed as much of the island was left without power for nearly one year. "I trust that this process was carried out properly", he said.

He added that Democrats had inflated the official death toll to "make me look as bad as possible".

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., released a statement calling for the president to apologize.

Hostin further bashed the Trump administration for not doing enough to stop preventable deaths after the storm. "I think Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success".

"Only Donald Trump could see the tragedy in Puerto Rico and conclude that he is the victim". It was conducted by the nonpartisan George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health. Among them were a lack of training for physicians on how to certify deaths after a natural disaster and the government's lack of communication about proper death-certificate reporting before the 2017 hurricane season.

"Nearly 3,000 people died", tweeted Sen. FEMA proceeded award a $156 million contract to a company that promised to provide 30 million meals to Puerto Rico; only 50,000 were ever delivered.

Trump earned some heavy criticism for those remarks, including from the outspoken mayor of the capital San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, on Tuesday night.

Storm surges up to 13ft are expected, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Media captionMonths after Maria, many on this USA island still suffered in the dark What have Puerto Rican officials said?

But Trump, that official said, was unwilling to admit even internally that more needed to be done on the island.

"The safety of American people is my absolute highest priority, " Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

Puerto Rico has been a USA territory since 1898. Others couldn't get the breathing machines they needed "because the power was out". "Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!" He also joyously tossed paper towels to a crowd of residents.

The Commander-in-Chief reiterated remarks Wednesday morning, defending his administration's handling of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico despite the massive loss of life.

All told, about 1,800 people died in that 2005 storm.

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