Federal judge denies request to extend housing assistance for Puerto Rican evacuees

Hurricane Maria

The visit comes days after the death toll from Hurricane Maria was revised upward again to almost 3,000 people.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello upgraded that count to nearly 3,000 on based on a report commissioned by island officials and conducted by George Washington University's Milken Institute of Public Health.

Tuesday's finding is nearly twice the government's previous estimate, included in a recent report to Congress, that there were 1,427 more deaths than normal in the three months after the storm.

GWU looked at deaths that occurred between Maria's landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, and deaths deemed in excess of Puerto Rico's normal mortality rate through February 2018.

The latter will also make up the theme for the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2018, marked on 13 October.

Trump added that Gov. Ricardo Rosselló was thankful for the help.

Trump has come under stiff criticism for his handling of the disaster, principally from Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of Puerto Rico's capital city San Juan.

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The Puerto Rican government revised the official death toll for hurricane Maria to 2,975 earlier this week after holding for months a count of 64, a number many survivors and civil rights groups said was a gross underestimation.

He also awarded himself a "10 out of 10" on disaster recovery efforts during an Oval Office meeting a year ago with Puerto Rico's governor. "We've put billions and billions of dollars into Puerto Rico, and it was a very tough one".

It is ranked as the third most financially costly cyclone in U.S. history since 1900, yet its death toll is a third higher than the costliest - Hurricane Katrina in 2005, with an estimated 1,833.

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. "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job", Bush said at the time. On Aug. 28, he raised the official death toll to 2,975 from 64.

The study looked at deaths from September 2017 to February 2018 and compared that number to the average number of fatalities for that time period in Puerto Rico, where the storm hit the hardest.

The island was also deeply in debt, and its power grid was crippled by neglect even before the hurricane, he said. To reduce such errors, the team recommends that physicians and other relevant health care providers in Puerto Rico - and on the mainland - receive explicit training so that they can more accurately certify deaths under disaster conditions.

Hurricane Maria caused the largest blackout in United States history, according to research consultancy the Rhodium Group.

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