Puerto Rico's Hurricane Maria Death Toll About 3,000 People

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The island's governor formally raised the death toll from 64 to 2,975 on Tuesday following a study conducted by researchers at George Washington University.

Lawyers for a group of Puerto Ricans pursuing the lawsuit argued that the Federal Emergency Management Agency's decision to terminate aid violated their due process rights.

One month after Maria, when the official number of people killed stood at 16, Trump said that the disaster was nothing compared to Hurricane Katrina's death toll.

In December, The New York Times estimated 1,052 "excess deaths" occurred after Maria. With some of the island still without power, Puerto Rico now faces into a hurricane season this year. "We are certain the death toll would have been much greater had Southern Baptists and so many others not responded so quickly" in relief aid after the hurricane. He said on Wednesday an outdated electric grid and the territory's status as an island continued to the difficulty.

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Trump also mentioned that aid to Puerto Rico was made more hard due to it being an island and praised the work of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

In a scathing reaction, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz appeared on CNN declaring, "Damn it, this is not a good news story".

They contend President Donald Trump's administration viewed Puerto Ricans as second-class citizens, a claim it denies.

Cruz went on MSNBC on Wednesday shortly after Trump's comments and said the president was "incapable of feeling solidarity and empathy".

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"I would say this is a study that can provide everybody a sense of security that, yes, this is a number that you can use as a reference for the future", said Carlos Santos-Burgoa, principal investigator and professor of global health at GW's school of public health.

She also says the federal government "will continue to be supportive" of Gov. Ricardo Rossello's accountability efforts and says "the American people, including those grieving the loss of a loved one, deserve no less". In the wake of the disaster, some experts estimated as many as 4,600 deaths.

Almost 3,000 Puerto Ricans died as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria a year ago, a number that dwarfs the government's initial tally of 64, according to a report commissioned by Puerto Rican officials and released Tuesday. They also took into account an 8 percent drop in Puerto Rico's population in the six months after the storm, when tens of thousands fled because of the damage.

Assistance to Puerto Rico was more difficult because - unlike Texas and Florida, also struck by hurricanes a year ago - "it's much harder to get things onto the island", Trump said.

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