Trump expected to visit areas hit by Hurricane Florence

Massive stockpile of water has sat undistributed on Puerto Rican tarmac for almost a year

Massive stockpile of water has sat undistributed on Puerto Rican tarmac for almost a year

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump boasted about his administration's response to Maria: "Puerto Rico was incredibly successful", Trump said, pointing to some of the problems the island had before the hurricane.

The article at the WaPo turns out to be from Lynn R. Goldman of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, which compiled the death toll of 2,975 "excess deaths" in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria.

"President Trump was responding to the liberal media and the San Juan mayor who sadly have tried to exploit the devastation by pushing out a constant stream of misinformation and false accusations", White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

Trump continued to enrage his critics in a series of tweets on Friday night, casting doubt on an academic study that calculated almost 3,000 deaths in the months following Maria. These activists have not made any attempt to count the actual number of hurricane-related deaths. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!' Trump wrote.

President Donald Trump is rejecting the official death count from Hurricane Maria and falsely accusing Democrats of inflating the Puerto Rican toll from the storm past year to make him "look as bad as possible".

Trump reignited the controversy around the US government's management of the disaster when he said Tuesday it was an "incredible, unsung success".

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.

Trump's comment renewed criticism of the government's response to two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico a year ago.

After his tweets, Democrats accused Trump of minimising the death toll for callous political reasons. He's the president of the United States but I don't agree with a lot of stuff he says about us, ' he said.

The study in question, conducted by researchers at George Washington University, meticulously compared medical records on the island from the months after the storm to those in a normal, non-hurricane period.

On Wednesday, Puerto Rican officials said about 20,000 pallets of water bottles shipped to Puerto Rico after Maria went unused and became too contaminated to drink.

The president tweeted on Thursday as Hurricane Florence bore down on the Carolinas.

"Our results show that Hurricane Maria was a very deadly storm, one that affected the entire island but hit the poor and the elderly the hardest", the statement read. Numerous deaths were attributed to power failures and a lack of access to healthcare and clean water, according to a study from the George Washington University.

Make no mistake: The death toll did continue to rise in the months after Maria. I don't know. We will never know how many, how many we lost.

As the storm lashed North and South Carolina Friday as a hurricane, FEMA officials warned of the storm's menacing rain.

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