Responding to President Donald Trump's claim the Puerto Rico death total from Hurricane Maria was inflated by Democrats "to make me look as bad as possible," Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló issued a statement calling the 2,975 death total "a fact."
"The hurricane took the lives of 2,975: This is a fact, and based on that fact, we adjusted the official death toll," a translation of Rosselló's statement read.
In the tweet publishing his written statement, Rosselló concluded "it's not time to deny what happened: It's time to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Results of an independent George Washington University study commissioned by Rosselló, a Democrat – he told CBS News on Thursday – led to Puerto Rico to raise their "estimate" of deaths from the 2017 hurricanes to the number President Trump claimed was politically driven.
"The victims and the people of Puerto Rico do not deserve to have their pain questioned," Rosselló added in his statement.
"Puerto Rico suffered a terrible tragedy at the hands of Hurricane Maria, and we strongly denounce anyone who would use this disaster or question our suffering for political purposes."
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