Trump Falsely Claims Revised Puerto Rico Death Toll Is Fake News

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In a second tweet Thursday, Trump cast blame on Democrats, who he said are trying to make him look bad.

Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) - all blamed President Donald Trump and his administration for the nearly 3,000 people who reportedly died, using a death toll concluded through a statistical model by academics at George Washington University.

There was a higher and more persistent risk of death for people living in "low socioeconomic development municipalities" while men aged 65 and over "experienced continuous elevated risk of death through February".

Trump tweeted out in the first part of the tweet. It was initially said to have killed just 64 people.

When Trump visited in October 2017, two weeks after the storm hit, the death toll at the time was indeed 16 people.

President Donald Trump falsely claimed Thursday that research from the Milken Institute School of Public Health estimating 3,000 deaths in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria was "done by the Democrats" to "make me look as bad as possible".

Trump's latest grumbling on the Maria death toll comes as Tropical Storm Florence inundates the Carolinas, killing at least four people. While Puerto Ricans were still dying as a result of the hurricane - due to shortages of electricity and medical care - Trump informed the island's inhabitants that they should be grateful that his efforts had spared them from suffering a "real catastrophe like Katrina". After all, that storm's official death toll sits at almost 3,000.

"Some extra people will have died of old age earlier than they would have if there'd been no hurricane".

A month after the hurricanes, in October of a year ago, Congress approved at $36.5 billion disaster relief package, which included money for Puerto Rico.

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The Democratic lawmakers called on the administration to support more funding for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as back a formal review into what went wrong.

At the same time, the top Republican in Congress, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, said he had no reason to dispute the official death toll, while Republican Senator Marco Rubio said tragedy should not be politicised.

The emergency response to Maria became highly politicised as the Trump administration was castigated as being slow to recognise the gravity of the devastation and too sluggish in providing disaster relief to Puerto Rico, an island of more than 3 million residents.

On Friday night, Trump tweeted a quote from Rivera in which the broadcaster cast skepticism on the official death count in Puerto Rico.

Time and again, newsrooms are forced to use their limited and valuable manpower to fact-check and reject statements made by the president via Twitter.

Ron DeSantis also disagreed with Trump's unsubstantial claims of an inflated death toll.

Trump tosses rolls of paper towels like basketballs to victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico's government is run by the New Progressive party, a pro-statehood, Puerto Rico-only party.

Cora, who was born in Puerto Rico, took issue with those comments.

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