San Juan Mayor Responds To Trump's 'Appalling' Denial Of Puerto Rico Deaths

‘Millions of water bottles’ left on Puerto Rico runway a year after Hurricane Maria (PHOTOS)

Many of those deaths occurred in the months after the disaster struck when FEMA help was most needed as much of the island was left without power for nearly one year. "I trust that this process was carried out properly", he said.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz was a particularly aggressive critic of Trump in the days and weeks following the hurricane; her response to Trump's tweet today was no different.

And the the federal government's relief effort was riddled with demonstrable failures: Despite receiving advance warning of the hurricane's likely landfall in Puerto Rico, the administration neglected to deploy satellite phones, generators, and reserves of food, fuel, and water in advance of the storm.

"Trump's malignant indifference to Hurricane Maria's catastrophic impact on Puerto Rico shocks the human conscience". He told one adviser that he felt that he media "would stop at nothing" to undermine him and blamed local authorities for their inept response. It was commissioned by Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló, and was conducted by experts at George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health.

UPDATE: Gov. Rick Scott, Republican and candidate for U.S. Senate, has weighed in too.

The report said the 2,975 deaths occurred between the time the storm hit in September 2017 and February 2018.

Earlier this week, Donald Trump declared his administration's response to Hurricane Maria an "incredible, unsung success". "We are sparing no expense", Mr. Trump said Tuesday.

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Actress Mia Farrow was one of the first to twitter-respond to Trump's reality-shirking tweets: "Your inept response to the catastrophe in Puerto Rico caused the deaths of almost 3000 American men, women and children".

But Trump, that official said, was unwilling to admit even internally that more needed to be done on the island.

"I think Puerto Rico was incredibly successful", Trump told reporters, adding: "I actually think it was one of the best jobs that's ever been done with respect to what this is all about".

Carlos Mercader, the executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, outlined in a statement what he saw as FEMA's missteps in handling the water bottles. "They're very powerful, very well managed in the sense that they have tremendous overcapacity".

Marty Bahamonde, director of disaster operations at FEMA, confirmed that the agency delivered the bottled water to the island but said the agency didn't track specific shipments.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNN's request for clarification on Trump's claim of the billions of dollars raised.

"It's an isolated island that lost its infrastructure and its power for a long time", he added.

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