Trump disputes Puerto Rico's hurricane death toll. Here's how they are calculated

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President Donald Trump ignited a storm of criticism Thursday by denying the death toll in Puerto Rico in wake of two devastating hurricanes past year, and late-night comedians Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah pounded him hard.

Puerto Rico's governor last month raised the USA territory's official death toll from Hurricane Maria from 64 to 2,975.

Trump has been criticized for his response to Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico last September and resulted in almost 3,000 deaths.

"I was there a long time, there was a transformer fire and the power went out, when they started dying then?"

"Casualties don't make a person look bad", House Speaker Paul Ryan said.

Below is a list of studies that have estimated the death toll there. This week, President Trump said his administration did a good job in handling the response to Hurricane Maria.

Today, I am thinking of all the Puerto Ricans I met in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria last October ― strong-willed and determined to survive its destruction without knowing that what lay ahead were months of darkness, hunger, medical crises and calls for help left unanswered.

"This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico", the president continued.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who's from Puerto Rico and headed to the island in January to provide assistance in the wake of the hurricane, was asked about the tweets when he arrived at the ballpark on Thursday afternoon.

Meyers was stunned by Trump's tweets denying the death toll.

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The reference to GWU Research refers to the independent research study the Puerto Rican government commissioned to track the hurricane deaths.

"We need leaders to fight against Donald Trump", the ad says.

"The people of Puerto Rico know the American government failed them", Velasquez said.

"I mean, at what point do you recognize that what they're doing is a political agenda, couched in the nice language of journalism?"

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló appeared to be aware of the critical distinction between Trump's tweet and the study. "Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!".

While some Republican lawmakers have distanced themselves from the president's comments on Puerto Rico and the death toll, others say they understand his frustration with lingering criticism.

Eye of the storm: An image taken from aboard the International Space Station shows Hurricane Florence approaching the east coast of the US States.

They extrapolated that data to estimate 4,600 people died as a direct result of the hurricane, including those who were not able to access vital medical treatment. We still. you see the hurricanes forming now.

"We stand by the science underlying our study", the statement said. Salon notes that nobody corrected him by pointing out that Puerto Rico is a territory of the US.

The updated tally would make Maria one of the deadliest single-disaster events in recent US history.