Trump disputes Puerto Rico's hurricane death toll. Here's how they are calculated

President Trump speaks to members of the media following a briefing on Hurricane Florence in the Oval Office on Tuesday

The death toll from Maria, the most powerful storm to hit there in nearly a century, was raised last month from 64, a number widely discounted as far too low, to 2,975. "You never know, but we know". "Then, like magic, '3000 PEOPLE KILLED.' They hired..."

Late night show hosts like Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert used their media platforms to call out Trump's appalling and deeply insensitive response to the deaths that accumulated in wake of the storm.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora addressed President Donald Trump's comments on Thursday after the President tweeted he doubted the death toll in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit previous year.

Trump's comments came as Hurricane Florence, a potentially catastrophic storm, headed for the Carolina coast. After all, that storm's official death toll sits at almost 3,000.

"When was it on Hurricane Maria that the people started [dying], was it when the power went out?"

"If you watch the show, you know we kid the president about being a awful person".

The true human cost of Maria, and the chaotic federal response to the storm on the U.S. island territory, triggered a year-long controversy, which Trump revived this week even as another powerful hurricane, Florence, bore down on the East Coast.

"They hired.GWU Research to tell them how many people had died in Puerto Rico (how would they not know this?)", Trump added.

"Casualties don't make a person look bad", House Speaker Paul Ryan said, breaking with the president.

Trump has maintained that the Hurricane Maria-related death toll in Puerto Rico was no more than 18, and Wired contributor Adam Rogers has stressed that Trump's claim is not only "preposterous" and "worse than a lie"-it is also anti-science".

"That is the official death toll. and yet our deranged president doesn't believe it", he said. Trump didn't think it was accurate. Salon notes that nobody corrected him by pointing out that Puerto Rico is a territory of the US.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who is in a tough race for re-election this year, appeared to agree with Trump, saying there is "no doubt that there are a number of Democrats that are trying to play politics on hurricanes, and in particular using Puerto Rico as an excuse to attack the president". "Before, during, and after the two massive hurricanes, the President directed the entire Administration to provide unprecedented support to Puerto Rico", White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said.

The Red Sox manager pointed out how his team, and other Major League Baseball clubs, helped in the relief efforts, and acknowledged that conditions in Puerto Rico are improving every day.

In this November 15, 2017 photo, some roofs damaged by Hurricane Maria have awnings installed in El Gandúl neighborhood, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico's government is run by the New Progressive party, a pro-statehood, Puerto Rico-only party.

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