Donald Trump has continued to insist the death toll when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico is incorrect and has been deliberately inflated to discredit him. When we think of people dying in a hurricane, we picture those who are washed out to sea, struck by flying debris, trapped under collapsed buildings, drowned in rising storm surge waters or even expiring from exposure while trapped on their roofs awaiting rescue. Numerous deaths were attributed to power failures and a lack of access to healthcare and clean water, according to a study from the George Washington University.
"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 added.
They're counting deaths which took place five months after the storm had passed.
Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett reports.
"FIFTY TIMES LAST ORIGINAL NUMBER - NO WAY!" he tweeted late Friday.
In recent days, Trump publicly lauded his own administration's response to Maria and privately groused over storm-related news coverage that he saw as overly focused on Puerto Rico, according to two Republican advisers close to the White House who weren't authorized to speak publicly and talked to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity.
DeSantis and Scott have taken pains to court the Puerto Rican vote, with Florida's outgoing governor having visited the island seven times since Hurricane Maria made landfall.
Almost every study and report into the hurricane estimates a significantly higher toll than the early official estimates mentioned by the president. And like I said: 'Hey man, thank you for helping us.' He went down there, he did what he did.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides doctors with a set of recommendations for counting such deaths as those caused by natural disasters, but the guidelines were nearly never followed by Puerto Rican doctors in the chaos after the storm.
"They hired.GWU Research to tell them how many people had died in Puerto Rico (how would they not know this?)", Trump added.
"I hate that people make it a political issue", Cora said.
George Washington University researchers stood by their study, responding to Trump's tweet by saying the study was carried out "with complete independence and freedom from any kind of interference". "And I came in and there was a crowd of a lot of people". They found that the catastrophic loss of power and infrastructure after Maria swept through Puerto Rico contributed to the deaths of an excess 2,975 people, many of whom could not attend to urgent medical needs.