CNN host Jake Tapper on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump for denying the nearly 3,000-person death toll in Puerto Rico after a pair of hurricanes hit the island in 2017, Breitbart reported.
“President Trump making it clear this week that when it came to the national tragedy caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, he seems to think that the real victim is him,” Tapper said on Sunday morning’s edition of his “State of The Union” show.
Trump said this week in a pair of tweets that his administration’s response to the hurricane was an “unsung success” and claimed without evidence that Democrats inflated the number to make him look bad.
Meanwhile, during a Friday night series of tweets, Trump said he was originally told the death toll following Hurricane Maria last fall was 16.
“Over many months it went to 64 PEOPLE. Then, like magic, ‘3000 PEOPLE KILLED’,” Trump wrote.
“The President is combining a few of his favorite things here in this false claim,” Tapper said. “Blaming the Democrats, tending to the needs of his ego and reputation, and carelessly spreading conspiracy theories without ever issuing a fraction of proof to back up what he’s saying.”
“And now in the middle of another deadly storm, he blithely dismisses the Puerto Rico death toll and takes an undeserved victory lap around an island that is still suffering,” Tapper said.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló last month updated the government’s official death toll for Hurricane Maria to match the results of the study commissioned from GWU.
“We stand by the science underlying our study which found there were an estimated 2,975 excess deaths in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria,” GWU’s Milken Institute School of Public Health said in a statement this week. “We are confident that the number — 2,975 — is the most accurate and unbiased estimate of excess mortality to date.”