By CATHERINE LUCEY
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is rejecting the widely accepted death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria, claiming without citing evidence that “3,000 people did not die.” Trump called the count a move by Democrats to make him look bad.
Trump tweeted Thursday as Hurricane Florence bears down on the Carolinas. He said: “When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…”
Puerto Rico’s governor raised the U.S. territory’s official death toll from Hurricane Maria from 64 to 2,975 after an independent study found the number of people who succumbed in the aftermath had been severely undercounted.