Trump Says, Without Evidence, He Doesn't Believe That Hurricane Maria Killed Nearly 3,000 People In Puerto Rico

In a tweet Thursday morning, the president said the updated figures are a conspiracy by the Democrats to make him look bad.
President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that he does not believe reports that Hurricane Maria was responsible for nearly 3,000 deaths in Puerto Rico last year, as the nation braces for another massive hurricane.
Puerto Rican authorities finally acknowledged last month that 2,975 people in the US territory were killed in the storm. They had previously said the death toll was only 64.
However, Trump, without citing any evidence, said he thinks the updated figure is a lie. In a tweet, he proclaimed that 3,000 people did "not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico."
According to the president, the updated figures are a conspiracy by the Democrats to make him look bad.
"If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics," he tweeted.
He said this conspiracy was done as his administration was raising "billions of dollars" to help rebuild the island.
"I love Puerto Rico!" he concluded.San Juan's mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz responded to Trump's tweets saying, "This is what denial following neglect looks like: Mr Pres in the real world people died on your watch. YOUR LACK OF RESPECT IS APPALLING!"
The president has had a contentious relationship with Cruz since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last year. Earlier this week, he called her "incompetent" and said his administration "did an unprecedented great job in Puerto Rico."
Cruz went on to tweet that Trump is "delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from an sense of reality," adding that he is "so vain he thinks this is about him."
She also said "this is NOT about politics this was always about SAVING LIVES."
The Puerto Rican government acknowledged the updated death toll after it was reported in an independent study by researchers with the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University.
The study also found that the island did not do enough to prepare residents for the deadly storm, which struck in September 2017.
Trump tweeted his theory as another monster storm, Hurricane Florence, headed towards the Carolinas.
It is expected to make landfall Thursday. Although it has been downgraded to a Category 2, the hurricane could cause massive flooding and devastation in the region and is still considered to be life-threatening.
Trump tweeted on Wednesday that his administration was ready to respond to the storm.
"We are completely ready for hurricane Florence, as the storm gets even larger and more powerful," he wrote.

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