Celebrities express outrage after Trump denies 3,000 deaths in Puerto Rico


President Trump is defending his administration's response to the devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico past year, disputing new findings that Hurricane Maria killed far more people than initially believed. CNN's own reporting reflects similar numbers. Full power was restored in Puerto Rico following last year's storm only last month. Patt Kessler's Reality Check takes us through the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.

Some well-known Republicans split with Trump on the issue.

Ahead of Florence striking the USA east coast, Mr Trump spoke with political leaders in the Carolinas and offered "whatever is needed", Sarah Sanders, the White House spokesman, said.

"This was a function of a devastating storm hitting an isolated island, and that is really no one's fault, " Ryan said. I toured the entire island.

"It's my family, and it was my home for a long time", Cassidy said.

"So I have no reason to dispute those numbers. That is just what happened". But it wasn't only the mayor who criticized Trump. "We are confident that the number - 2,975 - is the most accurate and unbiased estimate of excess mortality to date".

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello says in a Facebook video post in Spanish that there should no more questions about the number of deaths from Hurricane Maria and the process used to arrive at that number. "The loss of any life is tragic". "I'll continue to help PR", he tweeted.

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Earlier this week, Trump hailed his administration's response to Maria as "an incredible, unsung success". You should not be just having a parade of self-accolades. You will never take away our self respect.

"I hate talking about politics and all that, but I think this is more than politics". "May God bless the souls of the almost 3,000 Americans that died in Puerto Rico and may he take pity on your soul Mr. President".

While the President has frequently praised the government response in the year since the hurricane, others in the administration have acknowledged learned lessons.

"Only Donald Trump could see the tragedy in Puerto Rico and conclude that he is the victim", said Sen.

That number was produced by public health experts at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in a report commissioned by the USA territory's governor, Ricardo Rossello. "We all knew - without a doubt - that the death-toll had to be in the thousands instead of the 18 initially reported". He said because the base is a restricted zone, he's not able to get there. "And so, we're reorganizing the firepower of the federal government underneath these critical lifelines, we're pushing forward", Long added.

Members of both parties on Capitol Hill disagreed with the president's statements.

Thursday, Cruz called Trump "delusional, paranoid and unhinged", and said he's "so vain he thinks this is about him".

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Trump then blamed Democrats for spreading the death toll, saying it was a political move to make him look "as bad as possible".

Mr Trump said people who died for any reason - "like old age" - had been added to the total.

"I spent a [sic] 5 days volunteering in Puerto Rico several months after the Hurricanes", Cox wrote.

He was reacting to President Donald Trump's tweets that dispute the projected death toll from Hurricane Maria previous year.

The 3,000 figure Trump referenced comes from a study conducted by George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health. Then, a few weeks ago, a study from George Washington University revised that number to 2,975.

Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States, is home to some 3.3 million people.

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