Trump Says Democrats Increased Hurricane Maria Death Toll to Make Him Look Bad

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump on Thursday dismissed the recently increased death toll in Puerto Rico as inaccurate, accusing Democrats of increasing the numbers in order to make him look bad.

In a Twitter message, Trump said, "3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. 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. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000. This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics."

READ MORE: Puerto Rican Government Admits Hurricane Maria Death Toll Topped 1,400

Trump did not provide evidence to support his claim that Democrats inflated the death toll.

Commenting on Trump's statement, House Democrats said in a Twitter post that the president was still trying to deny that thousands of Americans were killed in the hurricane.

"President Trump won't acknowledge the thousands of Americans who died on his watch," House Democrats said in a Twitter post on Thursday. "And even worse, Republicans have no interest in holding this administration accountable."

Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria - Sputnik International
Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Death Toll Was Nearly 3K, Not 64 – Study
An independent study conducted by the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and released in August concluded that Hurricane Maria caused the deaths of 2,975 people in Puerto Rico between September 2017 and February 2018.

The report said a lack of communication, established guidelines, and training for physicians on how to certify deaths in disasters resulted in only 64 deaths originally being categorized as hurricane-related.

READ MORE: ‘Neglect' the Cause of Thousands of Deaths on Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm on September 20, causing extensive damage to the island’s infrastructure and the electrical grid.

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