Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Blasts Trump for Saying He's the Best Thing That's Ever Happened to Puerto Rico: '3,000 Americans Died on Your Watch'

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lashed out at President Donald Trump's boast that he is the "best thing that's ever happened to Puerto Rico," highlighting the island's death toll from Hurricane Maria.

As Puerto Rico braced for the impact of Hurricane Dorian, the eye of which narrowly avoided the area, President Trump berated the Caribbean island for ingratitude over the U.S. federal government's response to Maria.

When Maria hit in September 2017, critics of the federal government accused it of a lack of preparedness and an inadequate, slow emergency response after the hurricane to aid those suffering amid the devastation. Much of the U.S. colony's infrastructure was destroyed.

"We are tracking closely tropical storm Dorian as it heads, as usual, to Puerto Rico," Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning, as islanders, still reeling from Maria, feared the worst.

"FEMA and all others are ready, and will do a great job. When they do, let them know it, and give them a big Thank You - Not like last time. That includes from the incompetent Mayor of San Juan!"

The president followed up a couple of hours later, writing on Twitter: "Puerto Rico is one of the most corrupt places on earth. Their political system is broken and their politicians are either Incompetent or Corrupt."

"Congress approved Billions of Dollars last time, more than anyplace else has ever gotten, and it is sent to Crooked Pols. No good! And by the way, I'm the best thing that's ever happened to Puerto Rico!"

Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat of Puerto Rican heritage, hit back on Twitter: "3,000 Americans died on your watch. You're not the best thing to happen to anybody but yourself. And even that's questionable."

The Maria death toll number comes from a study by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University. According to the independent study, commissioned by the Puerto Rican governor, the toll is estimated at 2,975.

"The inadequate preparedness and personnel training for crisis and emergency risk communication, combined with numerous barriers to accurate, timely information and factors that increased rumor generation, ultimately decreased the perceived transparency and credibility of the Government of Puerto Rico," the study said.

When the study was published in September last year, Trump responded by questioning the death toll figure and suggesting the academics involved in calculating it were politically motivated against him.

"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," Trump tweeted.

"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!"

alexandria ocasio-cortez aoc trump puerto rico twitter
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a New York City vigil for the victims of recent mass shootings. Ocasio-Cortez dug at President Donald Trump for boasting that he is the best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Blasts Trump for Saying He's the Best Thing That's Ever Happened to Puerto Rico: '3,000 Americans Died on Your Watch' | Politics