After Donald Trump took to his Twitter account on Thursday morning to deny the official death toll from Hurricane Maria, as Inquisitr reported, which slammed into Puerto Rico almost exactly one year ago, outraged reaction poured in not only on social media, but from politicians and journalists as well, with even one Republican congresswoman slamming Trump for his “warped mind.”
“It might be a new low,” said Floria GOP Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, according to The Hill. “How could you be so self-centered and try to distort the truth so much?”
While initial death tolls from the hurricane, which hit Puerto Rico on September 16, 2017, were estimated as low as 16, a Puerto Rico government study carried out by George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health in August of this year raised that count to 2,975, as Inquisitr reported.
CNN columnist Chris Cillizza also slammed Trump’s Thursday Twitter denials as “a new low.”
“There is no depth that Trump will not explore in order to further his own narcissism and victimhood. There is no conspiracy he will not embrace — or, in this case, start — in order to improve his own personal brand or further his own political narrative,” Cillizza wrote.
In one Twitter post, Trump accused “Democrats” of fabricating the revised death toll “to make me look as bad as possible.”
“3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” Trump wrote in his first Twitter post. “When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000.”
“Trump’s denial of the official death toll from Hurricane Maria is absurd and gross,” wrote conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, on his Twitter account, in response to the Trump denials.
“You keep thinking Trump’s vileness and dishonesty has lost its power to shock, then he takes it to a new level,” Noble Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote on his Twitter feed, following the Trump death toll denials.
An analysis of the Puerto Rico death toll by Washington Post political correspondent Philip Bump slammed the Trump denials as “grotesque,” and “obviously untrue.” Bump also noted that Trump claimed that the initial death estimates from Maria were as low as six.
“In his visit to the island, Trump was told explicitly that the official toll at that point was 16. His tweet suggesting it was as low as six by the time he left makes clear that he is not interested in presenting an accurate picture of the effects of the storm on the island,” Bump wrote.
Retired Michigan House rep John Dingell also weighed in on Twitter, calling Trump “an absolute embarrassment of a human.”
One media outlet where Trump was not subjected to scathing criticism for his Hurricane Maria death toll denials, however, was Fox News, according to a report by ShareBlue. The site monitored Fox’s coverage, noting that the network went 78 minutes without mentioning Trump’s Twitter denials. When Fox News finally mentioned Trump’s statements, Fox reporter Jacqui Heinrich did not read the text of his denials, but instead stated only that Trump was “firing back on Twitter over his response to Puerto Rico, saying that Democrats are trying to make him look bad.”
On her Twitter feed, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz called Trump’s denials “delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality. Trump is so vain he thinks this is about him. NO IT IS NOT.”