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26 May 2024

Trump disputes estimate of Puerto Rico storm deaths

Photo: AP

Published
By AP

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 last year to make him “look as bad as possible.”

And he did this as Hurricane Florence bore down on the U.S. on Thursday.

Public health experts have estimated that nearly 3,000 perished because of the effects of Maria. But Trump, whose efforts to help the island territory recover have been persistently criticized, was having none of that.

He said just six to 18 people had been reported dead when he visited two weeks after the storm and suggested that many had been added later “if a person died for any reason, like old age.”