Trump sparks fury on Twitter with Hurricane Katrina comments

Alex Lasker, AOL.com

President Donald Trump sparked fury during his visit to Puerto Rico on Tuesday when he stated that Hurricane Maria was not a "real catastrophe" like Hurricane Katrina.

During a press briefing at an air base, Trump compared the casualties of the two major storms, suggesting that Katrina's death toll of 1,833 made it more of a legitimate crisis than Maria. 


"Every death is a horror," he began. "But, if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died and you look at what happened here with really a storm that was just totally overpowering ..."

"And what is your death count as of this moment, seventeen?" Trump asked Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello.

"Sixteen certified," Rossello replied. 

"Sixteen versus literally thousands of people," Trump said. "You can be very proud. Everybody around this table and everybody watching can really be very proud of what's taken place in Puerto Rico."

Trump's comments sent social media users into a frenzy, with even Hurricane Katrina survivors chiming in to remind the president that "death isn't a competition."

See reactions on Twitter: 

Earlier in his address, Trump lambasted the U.S. territory, saying that it has had a negative impact on the overall U.S. economy. 

"I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of whack because we've spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico," he said. "And that's fine, we've saved a lot of lives."

Puerto Rico is still reeling in the wake of the Category 4 storm, which was the worst hurricane the island has seen in 90 years. 

Many citizens are still struggling to survive after the storm completely wiped out the island's power grid and left less than half of residents with access to running water.

SEE: Images of the crisis in Puerto Rico: