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Colbert Goes After Trump for ‘Sickening’ Comments on Hurricane Maria Death Toll

Late-night host targeted the president's response to the Puerto Rico disaster, as well as to Hurricane Florence

Stephen Colbert is not too happy with President Donald Trump’s recent challenges to the viral death toll numbers in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria last year.

In a report published two weeks ago, researchers at George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C., concluded that 2,975 “excess deaths” were linked to that hurricane.

The study — done by the school’s Milken Institute of Public Health — reported that the deaths occurred between September of last year and February of this year.

Several other reports have also put the death toll in the thousands.

President Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to challenge these numbers and their relationship to both the hurricane and his administration’s handling of the matter.

The president wrote in a tweet, “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000.”

He continued, “This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!”

The study from GWU says several factors led to deaths being reported long after the storm had hit.

“The team found that lack of communication, well-established guidelines and training for physicians on how to certify deaths in disasters resulted in a limited number of deaths being identified as hurricane-related,” read the study.

Colbert is one leftist enraged by Trump’s recent comments.

“I just wanna state that not only is this a sickening tweet, [but] it is in no way true,” the comedian said during his opening monologue on Thursday night.

“It’s kinda like he was on trial for littering, and he said on the stand, ‘I only threw that cup out of my window because I was distracted by the homeless man I ran over. Pretty sure he died of old age,'” he continued.

The comedian said Trump should be more focused on the threat of Hurricane Florence at the moment.

“He’s talking about the one a year ago, because he’s been tweeting a lot about what a great job he did responding to Hurricane Maria, that decimated Puerto Rico last year,” Colbert said.

“I just wanna state that not only is this a sickening tweet, [but] it is in no way true.”

“It’s really hard to imagine anything more horrible than that.”

Check out the Colbert segment below:

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PopZette editor Zachary Leeman can be reached at [email protected].