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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 28 January, 2020

Donald Trump's latest claim is that Democrats plotted to inflate the Puerto Rico hurricane death count

A new investigation has put the death count at nearly 3,000 people.

Trump and his wife Melania following a trip to Puerto Rico last year.
Trump and his wife Melania following a trip to Puerto Rico last year.
Image: PA Images

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has stated without evidence that the number of deaths caused by Hurricane Maria is being exaggerated by the Democrats as a plot against him.

Nearly a year of controversy over the true toll of the 2017 storm intensified this week after Trump praised the US response to that catastrophe during this week’s Hurricane Florence.

An independent investigation commissioned by the government of Puerto Rico this week found that 2,975 people died as a result of the storm.

The death count prior to that figure had put the death count at 64.

Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico in September 2017, wreaking widespread devastation and causing $90 billion in damages.

In comparison, the death toll from 2005′s Hurricane Katrina – the costliest hurricane in US history – was far lower and estimated at 1,833.

Following criticism of his comments this week, Trump has now claimed that Democrats are behind the increased figure, tweeting:

Tweet by @Donald J. Trump Source: Donald J. Trump/Twitter

He added:

….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. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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