Donald Trump questioned on Thursday the latest number of deaths of Puerto Ricans attributable to Hurricanes Maria and Irma, saying that the most recent number, 2,975, is inflated and is driven by politics.
"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico," the president wrote.
"When I left the island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had between 6 and 18. Over time, it did not rise too much, then, a long time later, they started reporting really big numbers, like 3000. & # 39;
This was done by the Democrats to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising billions of dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, such as old age, simply add it to the list. Bad policy I love Puerto Rico!
President Donald Trump now says that the number of deaths accepted by the hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico in 2017 is inflated, and affirms that the Democrats are taking advantage of the number "to make me look bad"
Trump does not accept a study from George Washington University that calculated a number of victims from Hurricane Maria of 2,975 when comparing the general mortality figures with a statistical model of how many people would have died on the island if the storm had not happened
Researchers at George Washington University determined last month that Hurricane Maria only resulted in 2,975 "excessive deaths" in Puerto Rico.
That finding was not the result of traditional toll accounting, but a public health study that compared mortality in the six months after the storm with the number of deaths that would have been expected had it not arrived on the island.
"The difference between these two numbers is the estimate of excess mortality due to the hurricane," the scientists wrote.
The risk of dying during the storm or later was 60 percent higher for Puerto Ricans living in the poorest areas, they found.
The mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, a Democrat who became entangled with the president over and over again while Hurricane Maria was international news, returned fire on Thursday.
"This is what denial looks like after abandonment: Mr. Pres in the real world, people died under your supervision, YOUR FAULT OF RESPECT IS POWERFUL!" She tweeted.
"Mr. Trump, you can try to intimidate us with your tweets, BUT WE KNOW THAT OUR LIVES ARE IMPORTANT, you will never take away our self-respect … What a shame!
Yulín Cruz then called Trump "delirious, paranoid and deranged of any sense of reality."
FEMA administrator Brock Long said Wednesday on MSNBC that "indirect deaths" they are often more numerous than deaths caused immediately by a natural disaster.
"There are people who died after the storm passed because they fell from the roof doing repairs, they died in car accidents because the traffic lights were off, you have accidents with chainsaws, you have accidents with people cleaning debris," he said.
A different team of researchers, at Harvard University, announced in May that they believed the death toll from Hurricane Maria was 4,600. At that time, the death toll of the government was 64.
Trump said on Wednesday that his administration is prepared for Hurricane Florence, a storm that rushes to the Carolina coast, and insisted that his administration's response to the devastation in Puerto Rico last year was a "great job not appreciated." "
"We obtained A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and we did a great job that was not appreciated in Puerto Rico, despite being an inaccessible island with very little electricity and a totally incompetent mayor of San Juan)," Trump tweeted. .
At the Oval Office on Tuesday, the president praised his administration's response to the series of storms in 2017. "I think Puerto Rico was an incredible success, not recognized," he said.
But hours later, photographs appeared that showed millions of bottles of drinking water, destined for María's survivors, still sitting under blue tarpaulins on a runway.