Puerto Rico's government raised the official death toll from 64 people to 2,975 late last month following the publication of new research by the publication of new research by George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health.
Trump on Thursday rejected the official death toll in Puerto Rico from the September 2017 storm, tweeting "3000 people did not die". He said the toll was no greater than 18 when he visited the island previous year and "did not go up by much". "Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000", Trump wrote on Twitter. 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.
"It's actually disrespectful for my country", said Cora, who was wearing a black T-shirt with an image of Puerto Rico on the front.
The true human cost of Maria, and the chaotic federal response to the storm on the United States island territory, triggered a year-long controversy, which Trump revived this week even as another powerful hurricane, Florence, bore down on the East Coast. The loss of any life is tragic; the extent of lives lost as a result of Maria is heart wrenching. The George Washington University report said the actual number of excess deaths was estimated to be in the range of 2,658 to 3,290.
When Trump was criticized for his lackadaisical response, he added insult to injury by blasting the mayor of San Juan for "poor leadership ability".
At his weekly news conference today, Ryan said, "Casualties don't make a person look bad". But that toll should have at least another 1,000 added to it because that's the number of people who died due to debris exposure.
"Although you don't believe it... nearly a million boxes of water that were never delivered to the villages", posted Abdiel Santana, a photographer working for a Puerto Rican state police agency who took the pictures.
"We stand by the science underlying our study", the statement said.
Needless to say, the reason the death toll has been revised upward is not because of any conspiracy. He said officials at all levels of government in Puerto Rico also shared responsibility. "He has worked alongside Rep. Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon (of Puerto Rico) to secure support for rebuilding efforts".
She also said Trump was trying to bully Puerto Rico with his tweets and called him "delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality".