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For almost a year, conservative voices and publications on the internet have been casting doubt on the severity of Hurricane Maria’s impact on Puerto Rico.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump echoed those themes of distrust.

The president caused an uproar on Thursday when he contradicted an independent study commissioned by the government of Puerto Rico that revised the Hurricane Maria death toll estimate from 64 to 2,975.

In claiming that “3,000 people did not die,” Trump alleged that the study was “done by the Democrats” to make him look bad. In accusing Puerto Rico’s government of politicizing the study, Trump mirrored the narratives that have pervaded pro-Trump and far-right websites for the past year.

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