On Thursday, President Donald Trump falsely accused Democrats in a pair of tweets of inflating the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year, rejecting that government’s assessment that the storm had claimed nearly 3,000 lives.

With no evidence to support his claim, the president denied the hurricanes last fall resulted nearly 3,000 deaths of Americans in Puerto Rico.

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

It was unclear which Democrats the president was referring to, though he has fought with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a member of Puerto Rico’s Popular Democratic Party, over the federal government’s hurricane response. She responded to Trump’s tweet, saying “YOUR LACK OF RESPECT IS APPALLING!”

The death toll study was commissioned by Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, a member of Puerto Rico’s New Progressive Party. It was conducted by George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. Rosselló said the Puerto Rican government is “confident” in the results of the study and that he has no reason to believe the estimate was part of an effort by Democrats to undermine the President.

Prior to the GWU study, independent investigations conducted separately by The New York Times, Penn State University and Harvard University also estimated Maria’s death toll to be in the thousands.

After his tweets, top Republicans broke from Trump’s assessment. House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters on Thursday he has “no reason to dispute those numbers.”

“Casualties don’t make a person look bad, so I have no reason to dispute these numbers,” Ryan said.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott also split from Trump and disagreed with the president publicly on Twitter.

Read more about:

Get the free uPolitics mobile app for the latest political news and videos

iPhone Android

Leave a comment