Trump's Puerto Rico tweets draw bipartisan fire in Florida

Trump's Puerto Rico tweets draw bipartisan fire in Florida

Trump's Puerto Rico tweets draw bipartisan fire in Florida

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday disputed Puerto Rico's official death toll of 3,000 from hurricanes a year ago and accused Democrats of inflating the figure that was reached in an independent academic study.

President Trump is facing widespread backlash after he tried to claim Tuesday that his administration's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico previous year was "an incredible unsung success", in response to questions about what we could learn from Hurricane Maria as Hurricane Florence approaches the Carolinas coast. He said the toll was no greater than 18 when he visited the island past year and "did not go up by much".

This is not the first time Trump has tried to downplay the catastrophic hurricane, during his visit to the island soon after Maria hit, Trump said Puerto Ricans should be thankful it wasn't a "real catastrophe" like Hurricane Katrina. He was reacting to President Donald Trump's tweets that dispute the projected death toll from Hurricane Maria past year.

Trump's praise on Twitter for his handling of the government's recovery operations on Puerto Rico came after he told reporters that the rescue effort there was an "incredible, unsung success".

The study says the original estimates were so low because doctors on the island had not been trained to properly classify deaths after a natural disaster. This is about a country that really suffered, we still. you see the hurricanes forming now.

At his weekly news conference today, Ryan said, "Casualties don't make a person look bad".

CNN host Jake Tapper and his Thursday political panel railed against President Donald Trump for the claim 3,000 people didn't die in Puerto Rico.

President Donald Trump talks on the phone aboard Air Force One during a flight to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to address a joint gathering of House and Senate Republicans, Thursday, January 26, 2017.

Trump has focused his ire on San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who positioned herself as a critic of his administration in the immediate aftermath of the storms.

The island formally raised the death toll from Hurricane Maria to an estimated 2,975 from 64 following a study by researchers at The George Washington University. An "independent study said thousands were lost and Gov. (Ricardo) Rosselló agreed", wrote Scott, who is running for the Senate. The parties are courting Puerto Rican voters who are longtime residents of Florida, as well as those who relocated to the state after Maria caused devastating damage to the USA territory last September.

Mr Gutierrez, who is of Puerto Rican heritage, was involved in the United States territory's recovery operation.

Puerto Rico has been a US territory since 1898.

A Harvard University study in May said at least 4,645 died.

But in late April, the local Puerto Rican General Services Administration requested the water bottles from FEMA and began giving them out in May.

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