Trump rejects storm death toll

President Trump tosses paper towels into a crowd as he hands out supplies at Calvary Chapel Guaynabo Puerto Rico in October

President Donald Trump tried to downplay the deaths of almost 3,000 Americans reported lost in the wake of Hurricane Maria by an independent study, with Trump claiming that "Democrats" altered the study to "make me look as bad as possible".

Mr. Trump inaccurately stated that only six to 18 people died "after" the storm hit the island and said Democrats padded the death toll by including, for example, a person who died of old age "in order to make me look as bad as possible". 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.

President Donald Trump is notorious for making false claims and denying any set of information that makes him look bad - even if it's from his own government.

We are extremely concerned about the fragile state of Puerto Rico's services, infrastructure, and state of recovery going into the 2018 hurricane season, and can only hope the USA government is better prepared for this week's impending storms, including Hurricane Florence and the tropical storms building in the Caribbean.

Trump tweeted Thursday morning about how the death toll had been exaggerated.

He also said that "the victims nor the people of Puerto Rico deserve to have their pain questioned".

House Speaker Paul Ryan said he saw no reason to dispute the numbers found in the GWU study.

After his tweets, Democrats accused Trump of minimising the death toll for callous political reasons. But even some Republicans-especially those in Florida-are among those disagreeing with the president's assertion about the estimate from researchers at George Washington University.

Trump called the death toll a plot by Democrats to make him look bad.

Earlier this week, Trump called the USA response in Puerto Rico "an incredible unsung success".

Cora said Trump's words were "disrespectful" to his home.

In response, the Mayor of Puerto Rico's capital San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, tweeted: "Mr Trump you can try and bully us with your tweets BUT WE KNOW OUR LIVES MATTER". "It wasn't because this president doesn't care about Puerto Rico". "It's just what happened".

"President Trump said the Hurricane Maria response was "one of the best jobs that's ever been done with respect to what this is all about". Our basic infrastructure was devastated, thousands of our people lost their lives and many others still struggle".

The findings were embraced by the government of Puerto Rico as the study was released.

Cora stressed that last point, saying he didn't view the issue as political.

"I agree I've made mistakes", Rosselló said.

She says Trump's presidency is "the theater of the absurd every day".

Trump touted the federal government's response as "an incredible, unsung success" this week.

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