The changing death toll from Hurricane Maria

People are seen inside a shelter run by Red Cross before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Grantsboro North Carolina

People are seen inside a shelter run by Red Cross before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Grantsboro North Carolina

Facing criticism over his handling of the hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico past year, US President Donald Trump has accused rival Democrats of inflating the number of people killed there.

"Only Donald Trump could see the tragedy in Puerto Rico and conclude that he is the victim", said Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat.

As Florence approached the Carolinas on Thursday morning, Trump's frustrations over persistent Maria criticism boiled over on Twitter, where he floated a new conspiracy about the updated death toll: "This was done by Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible". "When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths", Trump claimed in a tweet Thursday.

With all eyes on Hurricane Florence, a Facebook post is casting fresh doubts on the federal government's response previous year to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

August 28, the government of Puerto Rico officially announced the death toll from Hurricane Maria as 2,975 making it the most severe natural disaster in the island's history.

President Trump speaks after receiving a briefing on Hurricane Florence from FEMA administrator Brock Long and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. "I'll take that but the rest of the 3,000 and plus more died because of the aftermath because of the lack of help that he gave", added Santos-Vasquez.

Puerto Ricans in CT said they are infuriated at the president for downplaying the severity of Hurricane Maria. "The people that went through this, they know what happened", Cora said.

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Political officials from both sides of the aisle condemned the president's statements and said they believed the death toll.

"Puerto Rico was incredibly successful", Trump said on Tuesday, adding that the island was fraught with issues prior to the hurricane.

Puerto Rico was recovering from Hurricane Irma before Hurricane Maria hit in September 2017, destroying roads and bridges and leaving much of the Caribbean island without electricity for months.

"The George Washington University study analyzed the total number of deaths during a six-month period and compared them to historical patterns - without classifying any death as a result of Maria". "May God bless the souls of the almost 3,000 Americans that died in Puerto Rico and may he take pity on your soul Mr President".

One year ago, FOX61 interviewed three sisters who were in tears after they finally got a phone call from their mother in Puerto Rico after not hearing from her for weeks after the hurricane ripped through their neighborhood.

When it was released, Gov. Rossello said the Milken study is an approximation, not a list of names.

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