Public health experts have estimated that almost 3,000 perished because of the effects of Maria.
The official death count increased months after the storm because the government of Puerto Rico originally did not acknowledge counts from news outlets investigating the impact of the storm.
A study commissioned by the Puerto Rican government said the number was nearly 3,000 people, something Trump shot down on Twitter. He falsely claimed the number had been inflated by Democrats "in order to make me look as bad as possible".
A small number of Republicans seemed to side with the president. I hate that people that make it a political issue. "So I have no reason to dispute those numbers". His ally, Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rosselló, also attacked Trump, saying, "No relationship between a colony and the federal government can ever be called "successful" because Puerto Ricans lack certain inalienable rights enjoyed by our fellow Americans in the states".
Rossello actually praised Trump effusively after the hurricane - and Trump returned the favor, calling Rossello "a great guy and leader who is working really hard".
Cora indicated that the Puerto Rican people are continuing their efforts to a return to normalcy. "The loss of any life is tragic".
Stewart was being interviewed Wednesday about Trump's earlier statements that his administration's handling of the hurricane that hit the USA territory was "an incredible, unsung success" and "one of the best jobs that's ever been done".
And yet, per his tweets, somehow the president is the victim in all this.
Cars drive under a partially collapsed utility pole weeks after Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria last September.
In August, George Washington University released a study estimating that 2,975 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria. "Direct" deaths include such fatalities as drownings in a storm surge or being crushed in a wind-toppled building.
'You have people who died after the storm passed because they fell off their roof making repairs, they died in auto crashes because the stoplights were off, you have chainsaw accidents, you have accidents with people cleaning up debris, ' he said.
'When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. The list is arranged to show the most recent studies first.
The 3,000 figure Trump referenced comes from a study conducted by George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health.