Even some Republicans suggested the president had gone too far.
Trump called the death toll a plot by Democrats to make him look bad.
In Florida, which was badly hit by Hurricane Irma past year and which received thousands of Puerto Ricans fleeing the devastation of their homes, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis – who has built his campaign around his adherence to Trump’s politics – tried to distance himself from the president’s words.
The clock began ticking late last month for hundreds of Puerto Rican evacuees who rely on federal assistance to pay for hotel rooms. The loss of any life is tragic; the extent of lives lost as a result of Maria is heart-wrenching. A spokesman for former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, who won the Florida GOP primary for governor with Trump’s support, said he did not agree with Trump’s tweets.
The White House defended the president on Thursday.
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.
While Trump battles the media over his response to Maria, FEMA is briefing Americans on what to expect from Hurricane Florence. The footage prompted accusations that Trump lacks empathy.
Gidley cited studies that attributed fewer than 3,000 deaths on the island to Maria.
Trump continued calling it an “unsung success” hampered by San Juan Mayor Carmon Yulin Cruz, and the whole “island” thing.
The deaths fell in two categories: direct and indirect.
“Those are just the facts of what happens when a disgusting hurricane hits an isolated place like an island”, Ryan said when asked about Trump’s tweet.
The 3,000 figure Trump referenced comes from a study conducted by George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health.
The Puerto Rican government initially linked just 64 deaths to Maria.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Friday said she didn’t want to dwell on the president’s comments, but felt compelled to respond on behalf of hurricane victims.
“We left this analysis to the scientists and experts, recognising that there would be many challenges, because we wanted to have a powerful and independent voice to minimise the uncertainty”, he said in a video on Facebook.
“As the water started to come back through the regular water system, and that started to increase, 90, 95 percent of people had water in their homes, there was less and less of a demand for the bottled water that was on the island”, Bahamonde said. While Cora acknowledged the government helped Puerto Rico, he questioned whether it did enough.
Ron DeSantis also disagreed with Trump’s unsubstantial claims of an inflated death toll.
“They hired GWU Research to tell them how many people had died in Puerto Rico (how would they not know this?)”, Trump wrote.
“Your administration created a humanitarian crisis through inadequate preparation and an incompetent response”, Velázquez said, speaking as if to Trump.
Ramos told ABC he’s not sure how long the bottles have been sitting there, but a report from the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration says FEMA made a delivery of “excess bottled water” in April.