There is a lot of blame to go around for the situation that Puerto Rico found itself in before Maria hit.
Like most conspiracy theories, this one makes no sense.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello says in a Facebook video post in Spanish that there should no more questions about the number of deaths from Hurricane Maria and the process used to arrive at that number. He then went on to accuse Democrats of making up the number so that he would look bad.
She said at the time that back-to-back hurricanes that hit past year prompted "the largest domestic disaster response mission in history". The only people who will believe this are the same ones who believe it's not really Trump's voice on the "Access Hollywood" tape in which he is heard bragging about groping women.
At the same time, the top Republican in Congress, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, said he had no reason to dispute the official death toll, while Republican Senator Marco Rubio said tragedy should not be politicised. It took more than 11 months, for example, to fully restore electricity.
Mr Trump said people who died for any reason - "like old age" - had been added to the total. The study concluded that excess mortality between September 2017 and February 2018 was between 2,658 to 3,290 dead.
During a panel discussion on CNN's The Lead on Thursday, CNN political analyst and former Fox News commentator Kirsten Powers suggested that Trump's base lives in an "alternative universe" full of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and where things like the Puerto Rico disaster do not exist.
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Researchers from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University said the original estimates were so low because doctors on the island had not been trained to properly classify deaths after a natural disaster.
"President Trump was responding to the liberal media and the San Juan Mayor who sadly, have tried to exploit the devastation by pushing out a constant stream of misinformation and false accusations", the statement read.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides doctors with a set of recommendations for counting such deaths as those caused by natural disasters, but the guidelines were nearly never followed by Puerto Rican doctors in the chaos after the storm. But the federal government and its leader bear their share of culpability.
President Donald Trump tours a neighborhood impacted by Hurricane Maria, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Trump, the story noted, spent a "long weekend" at his golf club and attended a political rally in Alabama.
But, it is not only Democrats and journalists that are criticizing Trump. Trump visited the island in early October to assess the situation amid widespread criticism over the recovery efforts.
A U.S. government report published this month concluded that the federal response in Puerto Rico was hampered by a lack of trained staff as well as by major logistical challenges.
"How stupid, how tone deaf, how surreal, how insensitive, how offensive", Navarro told CNN. He was particularly pilloried for being out of touch when he praised FEMA Director Michael Brown: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job", he said. He then parroted Trump talking points that the island wasn't in great shape, to begin with, and that it wasn't the federal government's fault they couldn't get resources to people.