Trump Continues to Promote Puerto Rico Deaths Conspiracy Theory

Trump promises all-out response to Hurricane FlorenceMore

Breaking from presidential tradition, Trump continued to use the Category 4 hurricane barreling toward the coast as an occasion to high-five himself for his administration's response to the hurricane that slammed Puerto Rico last season. Some fellow Republicans dissociated themselves from his false claims and acknowledged the veracity of an independent study that attributed almost 3,000 deaths to the 2017 storm and its aftermath.

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora expressed frustration Thursday when asked about President Donald Trump downplaying the number of people who died in the aftermath of a hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico one year ago, calling the President's tweets "disrespectful". Trump said there were "6 to 18 deaths" shortly after the storm hit Puerto Rico in 2017.

"I was there a long time, there was a transformer fire and the power went out, when they started dying then?" Researchers used what they called a "state-of-the-art mathematical model", which Trump misrepresented - wrongly saying the study counted deaths "for any reason, like old age".

Puerto Rico was recovering from Hurricane Irma before Hurricane Maria hit in September 2017, destroying roads and bridges and leaving much of the Caribbean island without electricity for months. Last month, Puerto Rico released an official death toll of 2,975.

Rossello said he left the analysis of the deaths in the hands of experts and accepted their estimate as the official death toll.

"This is what denial following neglect looks like", declared San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz in response to Trump's tweets.

The Puerto Rican government commissioned the study in February.

Puerto Rico's governor said last week that his administration has adopted new measures to better prepare for a disaster like Maria although he warned of limitations given the USA territory's economic crisis.

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In towns like New Bern that are already underwater, the river isn't expected to reach its highest level for a couple of days. Over a million residents in North Carolina are now without power and authorities have confirmed at least five deaths .

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As Hurricane Florence continued its destructive path in North and SC on Friday, President Donald Trump has reportedly been fixated on unflattering news reports about his response to Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico in September 2017.

State and local officials are responsible for establishing death tolls, not the federal government.

"I hate that people make it a political issue", Cora said.

Instead, this disabled, 59-year-old woman died a month later, from sepsis - caused, says her family, by an untreated bedsore.

This past January, the Red Sox sent 10 tons of supplies to aid citizens of Puerto Rico who've been affected by last year's deadly hurricane season. But's important to understand, the number of people who died because of Maria did not suddenly jump from 64 to 2,975.

Earlier Tuesday, President Donald Trump had reiterated his praise for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's response.

"Although you don't believe it... nearly a million boxes of water that were never delivered to the villages", posted Abdiel Santana, a photographer working for a Puerto Rican state police agency who took the pictures.

"Casualties don't make a person look bad", said House Speaker Paul Ryan.

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