Two of Florida's top Republicans on Thursday distanced themselves from President Donald Trump's false claim that Hurricane Maria did not kill almost 3,000 people in Puerto Rico past year, despite an estimate accepted by the island's government.
"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico", Trump tweeted early Thursday.
But on Thursday, Trump clarified his rationale for considering the hurricane response a triumph of disaster management: Hurricane Maria killed (at most) 18 Puerto Ricans - all those other deaths were fabricated by the Democratic Party to make Donald Trump look bad. "We are confident that the number - 2,975 - is the most accurate and unbiased estimate of excess mortality to date".
"We agree that no estimates regarding loss of life have been inflated and we remain focused on ensuring a full recovery for the island and creating more economic opportunities for those arriving in Florida", Cortes said in an email. I hate that people that make it a political issue.
The death toll is drawn from multiple scientific studies.
Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the U.S., is home to some 3.3 million people. "We are professionals of public health".
Hurricane Florence began battering North Carolina on Thursday night, beginning an onslaught that will provide the Federal Emergency Management Agency a chance to fix its bruised reputation following the federal response to Hurricane Maria.
The Trump tweet generated strong emotions of anger and sorrow. Those findings, by researchers at George Washington University on behalf of the Puerto Rico governor, were markedly different than the government's initial count, 64.
Carmen Yulin Cruz, mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, shot back on Twitter, calling Trump's "lack of respect"appalling".
The Republican president went on to accuse Democrats of inflating the death toll to make him look bad, without providing evidence. Sober as the New York Times is in reporting Trump's latest big lie, it still represents in characterizing him how low we've sunk.
Trump made the comments Thursday on Twitter as Hurricane Florence bears down on the Carolinas.
Hurricane Maria and Irma hit Puerto Rico a year ago and knocked out power in the US territory for months. It's kind of like he was on trial for littering and said on the stand, 'I only threw my cup out of that window because I was distracted by the homeless man I ran over. Full power was restored in Puerto Rico following last year's storm only last month. "I think it's about a country that really suffered", Cora said.