In Florida, which was badly hit by Hurricane Irma previous year and which received thousands of Puerto Ricans fleeing the devastation of their homes, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis - who has built his campaign around his adherence to Trump's politics - tried to distance himself from the president's words.
"The water was kept in an area that was pretty hard hit during the storm and could have used all the water they could have gotten", Begnaud said in a video report.
"Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000", he continued. Trump dismissed the findings Thursday, tweeting: "If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list".
Like many Puerto Ricans who fled to the mainland after Hurricane Maria, Jose Santiago has been scrambling to find a place to live.
As the death toll in Hurricane Florence climbed to five, President Donald Trump squeezed out another tweet insisting the number of deaths attributed to Hurricane Maria in a government funded study is horseradish served up by Democrats and journalists to attack him.
"Although you don't believe it... nearly a million boxes of water that were never delivered to the villages", posted Abdiel Santana, a photographer working for a Puerto Rican state police agency who took the pictures. "At least I can stay here and work", Fernandez, 28, said in Spanish as she held Adrian outside a motel in Orlando's tourist district.
Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States, is home to some 3.3 million people.
In fact, the 2,975 estimate comes from an exhaustive George Washington University analysis of fatalities on the island that included people who died for lack of medical care, for example, because so much of Puerto Rico remained without electricity for many months.
Ortiz said Connecticut's senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal have stood up for the Puerto Rican community and have yet to hear from the president himself.
"Your administration created a humanitarian crisis through inadequate preparation and an incompetent response", Velázquez said, speaking as if to Trump.
"You know, 3,000, six, 18". Of these, only the estimate by the government of Puerto Rico involved the examination of individual deaths to determine if the hurricane had caused them. I don't know. We will never know how many, how many we lost. "Very good towels", Trump said after his visit to Puerto Rico, where he was criticized for light-heartedly tossing paper towels into a crowd as if they were campaign swag.