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United States President Donald Trump has disputed official findings that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of last year's hurricane. One thing's for sure, and I told [the media] before, one thing I'm proud, we're standing up on our own two feet.

That was not original material, being the remarks made on Fox News by Geraldo Rivera, to whom Trump drew attention in the tweet.

In the tweet, Trump quoted Rivera saying, "They say all these people died in the storm in Puerto Rico, yet 70 per cent of the power was out before the storm".

President Donald Trump ignited a storm of criticism Thursday by denying the death toll in Puerto Rico in wake of two devastating hurricanes a year ago, and late-night comedians Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah pounded him hard.

As of time of writing, five deaths in North Carolina are being attributed to Hurricane Florence. "When I left the island after the storm had hit, they had anywhere from six to 18 deaths".

The death toll figure was actually the result of a months-long intensive scientific study conducted by epidemiologists, a demographer, a public health nutritionist, environmental health scientists, two public health research assistants, an anthropologist, a behavioural scientist and two health communication experts.

"If (Trump) doesn't learn from his mistakes, he's going to make them again and people are going to continue to die", she told CNN television. And like I said: 'Hey man, thank you for helping us.' He went down there, he did what he did.

That report, while acknowledging that Puerto Rico's power system was on "life support" before the hurricane, also said that approximately 96 per cent of residents had power restored to them after Hurricane Irma hit before Maria. "Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!".

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

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Trump has been on a tear about the death toll in Puerto Rico for days.

In January, Cora led a Red Sox delegation to Puerto Rico to distribute aid.

In a latest fit of fury, Trump successfully enraged millions of Americans by claiming the nearly 3,000 deaths in Puerto Rico after the devastation caused by two back-to-back hurricanes were fake news.

Where does the official death toll come from?

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.

But the Democrats at the press conference stuck with the theme that the Trump administration failed in its response to the hurricane.

Puerto Rico's government is run by the New Progressive party, a pro-statehood, Puerto Rico-only party.

Begnaud spoke with Abdiel Santana, who works with the Puerto Rico state police agency FURA.


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