The president's tweets came as the government prepares for Hurricane Florence's impact on the Carolinas and set off a storm of criticism in Twitter. That figure was then compared to the number of deaths reported from September 2017, when the hurricane hit, to February 2018, when the island still struggled with blackouts and a shortages of essential supplies on the road to recovery.
"Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers like 3,000", Trump wrote.
The president defended the federal government's "fantastic job" in Puerto Rico.
He added that the process of tallying up the casualty count was "carried out properly". He also trafficked in racist stereotypes about lazy Latinos by suggesting that people in Puerto Rico "want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort".
There's growing sentiment that this is the worst tweet by Trump ever. After the total was revised August 28, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement in which she did not actively dispute the revised figure.
In the Oval Office on Tuesday, the president praised his administration's response to the series of storms in 2017. That led the cable news coverage that evening, further angering the president, according to one of the people.More news: Arsenal manager Unai Emery preparing for 'difficult' Newcastle United test
More news: NAFTA Talks To Resume This Week
More news: California locked in to carbon-free power by 2045
The mayor of Puerto Rico's capital calls Trump "delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality". "But you know it's a little bit kind of like frustrating that the topic keeps coming and coming and coming". But even some Republicans-especially those in Florida-are among those disagreeing with the president's assertion about the estimate from researchers at George Washington University.
It is unclear where the breakdown that caused the bottles to never be distributed was caused.
In a latest fit of fury, Trump successfully enraged millions of Americans by claiming the nearly 3,000 deaths in Puerto Rico after the devastation caused by two back-to-back hurricanes were fake news.
Maria destroyed Puerto Rico's electricity grid, leaving the island largely without power for weeks and crippling its health care system. Clearly, a lot of factors - including the inadequacy of local infrastructure, the sheer difficulty of providing help to an island, and the mistakes of local government - contributed to the ghastly death toll. This is more fake news propagated by anti-Trump activists.
Earlier this week, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren released a letter from the FEMA director that stated more than 2,000 Puerto Ricans applied for funeral assistance in the wake of the hurricane.