Telling the stories of Puerto Rican victims of Maria

President Trump seeks praise for Puerto Rico response as Hurricane Florence barrels toward Carolinas

President Trump

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio wrote on Twitter that "even tragedy becomes political" in the current environment and he backed the finding that almost 3,000 people died. Trump said there were "6 to 18 deaths" shortly after the storm hit Puerto Rico in 2017.

The mayor of Ceiba, Angel Cruz Ramos, told CNN he's grateful for the generosity, but believes that too much water was delivered at the wrong time. He tweeted that it was only later that Democrats inflated the death toll to "really large numbers, like 3000" just to make him look bad.

The Republican president suggested the hurricane death toll was artificially boosted by adding those who had passed away from natural causes such as old age. "I don't think it's bad to say we could have done better in Puerto Rico".

The late night host went on to point out that the 2,975 figure came from researchers at the George Washington University, adding that it was done at the government's request.

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.

She said she visited Puerto Rico herself a few months ago and people were dying all around from the lack of resources. For a hurricane, direct deaths include people who drown in a storm surge or flooding, are hit by flying debris or crushed in a wind-toppled building.

"Hey, man, thank you for helping us".

After enduring months of criticism for not fully reckoning with the toll of Maria, the Puerto Rico's government quickly adopted the study as itsofficial death toll.

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Most of those criticisms - largely made by men - were valid, but they chose to ignore Williams' experience as a black woman. She also called Ramos a " thief " for taking a point from her.

Echoing Cruz's condemnation of Trump's tweets, Democratic lawmakers also expressed outrage that the president would attempt to downplay the number of people who died as a result of a natural disaster and USA government neglect.

Cora, who hails from Caguas, Puerto Rico, addressed Trump's tweets before his Red Sox faced the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday, and had a rather harsh rebuke for the commander-in-chief.

"FEMA put that water out on that airstrip for the goal of getting it out of containers, so that there would be no cost to us and no cost to the taxpayer", he said, echoing comments made by FEMA deputy administrator Daniel Kaniewski on "CBS This Morning" on Thursday.

Suddenly, the official toll was revised to 2,975, reflecting the results of a study done by George Washington University. Trump has been laser-focused on hurricane response this week, just not this one.

A photograph, taken Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, of the stockpiled water in Ceiba, Puerto Rico.

President Donald Trump is notorious for making false claims and denying any set of information that makes him look bad - even if it's from his own government.

Trump touted the federal government's response as "an incredible, unsung success" this week.

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