With Hurricane Florence fast approaching the southeastern US and due to make landfall on Thursday, Trump pointed to his administration's emergency preparedness, saying he handled the situation in Puerto Rico well, despite what critics said.
As far as Trump's response is concerned, the most lasting image of his involvement with Hurricane Maria will be the time he visited Puerto Rico and threw rolls of paper towels to survivors. The study says the original estimates were so low because doctors on the island had not been trained to properly classify deaths after a natural disaster.
The mayor of Ceiba, Angel Cruz Ramos, told CNN he's grateful for the generosity, but believes that too much water was delivered at the wrong time. "Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000", he said in a tweet Thursday morning as Carolinians prepared to be pummeled by Hurricane Florence. A vast shipment of water bottles that were meant to be delivered to victims of 2017's destructive Hurricane Maria appear to be still sitting, unused one year later, on a runway in Ceiba, Puerto Rico.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a Democrat who tangled with the president over and over while Hurricane Maria made worldwide news, fired back at him on Thursday.
President Trump tosses paper towels into a crowd as he hands out supplies at Calvary Chapel, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, in October.
"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.
Where does the official death toll come from?
While FEMA is blaming the Puerto Rico government for dropping the ball, a Puerto Rican official claimed that distributing the water to Maria's victims was FEMA's responsibility.
The death toll in Hurricane Maria is estimated to be almost 3,000, a steep increase from the initial 64.
In the Oval Office on Tuesday, the president praised his administration's response to the series of storms in 2017.