Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora expressed frustration Thursday when asked about President Donald Trump downplaying the number of people who died in the aftermath of a hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico one year ago, calling the president's tweets "disrespectful."
"When I left the Island after the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths," Trump tweeted. "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."
His argument, unveiled on Twitter is that his opponents have exaggerated the number of people killed when Hurricane Maria hit the US island. Their motive? To discredit his presidency.
Earlier this month, the governor of Puerto Rico raised the death toll to 2,975 from 64 following a study conducted by researchers from the Milken Institute at George Washington University at the government's request.
"To be tweeting about 3,000 people ... it's actually disrespectful for my country," said Cora, a former player from Caguas, about 20 miles south of San Juan. "We see it that way. I know probably he doesn't feel that way. And like I said: Hey man, thank you for helping us. He went down there, he did what he did.
"I hate talking about politics and all that, but I think this is more than politics. This is about a country that really suffered. We still ... you see the hurricanes forming now. Everybody's panicking. It's not easy. One thing's for sure, and I told [the media] before, one thing I'm proud, we're standing up on our own two feet. Like, do we need help? Yeah, we do. We know that."
In the wake of the media reporting on Trump's tweets, George Washington University released a statement saying it stood by the science in the study.
Cora indicated that the Puerto Rican people are continuing their efforts to return to normalcy.
"We're not where we were. But we will be there, and it's just a matter of time," Cora said. "But you know, it's a little bit, kind of like, frustrating that the topic keeps coming and coming and coming. What's the point, honestly? And I respect him. He's the president of the United States. But I don't agree with a lot of stuff that he says about us."
You can read his full comments on the matter here.