Hurricane Katrina, which struck New Orleans in 2005, was directly responsible for about 1,200 deaths, according to the National Hurricane Center. "Stay here and be homeless, or move to Puerto Rico and be unemployed or have no home and struggle there".
The study accounted for Puerto Ricans who succumbed to the stifling heat and other after-effects of the storm and were not previously counted in official figures.
The comments echoed what Trump has said in the past about the USA territory, as he infamously bragged just days after the storm that only "16 people [died] verses in the thousands", which he claimed was good compared to "a real catastrophe like Katrina". "The governor is an excellent guy and he's very happy with the job we've done".
Criticism of the federal response existed at the time: in a scathing reaction, San Juan mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz appeared on CNN declaring: "Damn it, this is not a good news story".
Santos-Burgoa said the risk people in poorer municipalities faced is a "major concern" because it shows the level of inequity on the island before the hurricane hit and was exacerbated in the aftermath.
Health advocates scoffed at the government's initial death toll and said many people died after the storm because they lacked medicine, couldn't get adequate medical treatment or had chronic diseases that were aggravated by the post-storm conditions.
Over this same period, older male Puerto Ricans had a risk of death that was 35 percent higher than expected and that elevated risk continued past the study observation period.
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It would be hard for anyone to remember that, though, since what Trump said isn't true.
All three of the deadliest hurricanes were Category 4 storms when they made landfall.
U.S. President Donald Trump's administration killed Puerto Ricans through "neglect", the mayor of the island's capital said Wednesday, a day after the official death toll for Hurricane Maria was raised to almost 3,000.
"We did not cherry-pick, I can promise you", Goldman said. And while the death toll was not known when he voiced some of his earlier praise, they did come as disaster relief experts and local officials sounded the alarm about the slow pace of the federal response.
Trump is pointing to the island's pre-existing financial and infrastructure challenges, but is falsely claiming its electric plant "was dead" and "shut" before Maria hit.
The island was also deeply in debt, and its power grid was crippled by neglect even before the hurricane, he said. "The Fake News Networks are working overtime in Puerto Rico doing their best to take the spirit away from our soldiers and first R's".