Reality Check: Is President Trump’s Puerto Rico Tweet Accurate?

Massive stockpile of bottled water found in Puerto Rico a year after Maria

As happens often, congressional Republicans were blindsided Thursday morning by a tweet, as President Donald Trump challenged without evidence the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico from last year's Hurricane Maria.

"If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list", said Trump, attempting to dismiss the long-term effects of the disaster, where the island was without electricity and water for months, as the administration struggled to restore power.

In fact, there are two categories of disaster deaths.

"During our broader study, we found that many physicians were not oriented in the appropriate certification protocol", according to the report from the researchers at GWU.

Trump said on Twitter that "they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths" at the time he visited the island after the storm. An outraged CNN contributor noted that some Maria victims died because they couldn't get to hospitals "because the roads were closed".

Those involved with the study have emphasized that the 3,00 estimate is not a conclusive number and further work should be done.

"We are scientists. We are public health people".

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"The aftereffects, people don't talk about that", he said.

"Our results show that Hurricane Maria was a very deadly storm, one that affected the entire island but hit the poor and the elderly the hardest", the statement read. But the slow federal response in Maria dimmed that hope. This is more fake news propagated by anti-Trump activists.

Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló admitted the government made mistakes handling the storm but he insisted it was not due to political considerations. At the time, the White House did not dispute the numbers.

She said at the time that back-to-back hurricanes past year prompted "the largest domestic disaster response mission in history". A US territory since 1898, Puerto Rico's inhabitants are citizens, though they can not vote in presidential elections and have only one congressional representative with limited voting powers.

The revelation comes as President Trump doubled down on his administration's response to Hurricane Maria on Wednesday and lashed out at the mayor of San Juan, who has been a critic of the effort, as "incompetent". He is doubling down on his absurd and offensive suggestion that his response to Hurricane Maria past year was "incredibly successful".

A June report from a local Puerto Rican news outlet - provided to The Daily Wire after it was translated into English - highlighted Yulin Cruz's absence from Puerto Rico as she politicked in the United States.

That assessment brought sharp rebukes from officials in Puerto Rico and congressional Democrats.

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