Alex Cora discusses Trump's comments on Puerto Rico

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

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Thursday to lambast an official report on Puerto Rico following Hurricanes Irma and Maria past year, accusing Democrats of inflating the number of deaths. He falsely claimed the number had been inflated by Democrats "in order to make me look as bad as possible".

Puerto Rico finally accepted the conclusion of an independent report on hurricane-related deaths, conducted by George Washington University, last month.

In a tweet, Trump said 3,000 people did not die in the storms.

'When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths.

"As time went by it did not go up by much", Trump wrote.

Trump's comments come as Hurricane Florence, now a category 2 storm, hurtles towards the Carolina coast, threatening millions in its path.

Commissioned by Puerto Rico's governor, the study found that the authorities' initial figure of 64 deaths was likely as low due to officials strictly classifying only certain deaths - such as those caused by collapsing buildings, flying debris, floods and drownings - as caused by the hurricane. "Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!"

Studies estimated the death toll ranged from 800 to more than 4,600.

A report earlier this month by the Government Accountability Office described the government as "down to the bottom of the barrel" in staffing by the time Maria hit Puerto Rico, citing a series of other hurricanes and catastrophic wildfires a year ago that overwhelmed federal disaster responders. One exception, Florida Governor Rick Scott, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, who said, "I disagree with POTUS".

The revelation comes at roughly the same time that Yulin Cruz appeared on CNN to bash Trump and also attacked the president in a series of tweets this week. Not only because it seemed indifferent to Puerto Rican suffering, but also because it is demonstrably false.

Cars drive under a partially collapsed utility pole weeks after Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria last September. "How can we make it so more people die?' You think that was actually happening in the White House?"

It was not until last month that electricity was fully restored to the entire island of Puerto Rico, almost a year after the hurricane made landfall. A US territory since 1898, Puerto Rico's inhabitants are citizens, though they can not vote in presidential elections and have only one congressional representative with limited voting powers.

Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for the U.S. Senate, tweeted: "I've been to Puerto Rico 7 times & saw devastation firsthand".



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