Trump disputes Milken research estimating Hurricane Maria death toll

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Fox Business Network host and big-name conservative Lou Dobbs set his sights on Florida Thursday night, accusing Ron DeSantis and Gov. Rick Scott of disregarding "science, statistics and evidence" by disagreeing with President Donald Trump about how many people died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria. "Trump has been laser-focused on hurricane response this week, just not this one", says Colbert. And FEMA kind of fumbled that one, from what I've heard. Trump had characterized his gestures as good-natured, but the footage prompted accusations that Trump lacks empathy.

"We are scientists. We are public health people". I talked to them again today. "They have a tarp", Cora said. "Throw 'em to me Mr. President!'"

Officials say almost 3,000 people were killed by Maria. We still. you see the hurricanes forming now.

The head of Puerto Rico's general services administration says the water will likely be returned.

After Trump denied that nearly 3000 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rican government officials-having witnessed the devastation first hand-were indignant, including Gov. Ricardo A. Roselló.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz called the president's comments "delusional, paranoid and unhinged from any sense of reality". He went on to accuse Democrats of inflating the numbers to make him look bad.

But when have Democrats ever let the facts get in the way of an anti-Trump myth?

In a statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the president's visit will likely take place early to middle week once it's clear his visit won't hamper search and rescue efforts.

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. It was initially said to have killed just 64 people.

That report, while acknowledging that Puerto Rico's power system was on "life support" before the hurricane, also said that approximately 96 per cent of residents had power restored to them after Hurricane Irma hit before Maria.

Milken researchers used a mathematical model to compare the number of deaths during the six months that followed the hurricane to the number of deaths historically tallied during the same period.

He added: "I've been to Puerto Rico 7 times & saw devastation firsthand".

Hurricane strength wind gusts have knocked down trees and power lines, leaving more than half a million people in the dark.

Trump tweeted Thursday morning about how the death toll had been exaggerated.

The study found that those deaths could be attributed directly or indirectly to Maria from the time it struck in September 2017 to mid-February of this year.

Other groups approached the "baseline mortality risk at two and four months post-hurricane".

"Now, you know, folks, if you watch the show", Colbert says, "we kid the president about being a bad person. It would certainly be an act of respect and empathy".