José Andrés: Trump’s Puerto Rico denial shows his 'lack of empathy'
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Celebrity chef José Andrés, a frequent critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE, in particular on his response to Puerto Rico's hurricanes last year, on Thursday ripped into Trump's denial of the official death count in the aftermath of the storms.

"His tweet only shows you his lack of empathy," Andrés told CNN. "He should be ashamed. It probably was more than 3,000 people."

Trump stirred up controversy Thursday when he tweeted out that the approximate 3,000 death toll reported from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria was a Democratic conspiracy.


Both Democrats and Republicans critiqued the president's claim, including staunch Trump supporters such as Florida's Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisFlorida secretary of state who resigned apologizes for blackface photos The Hill's Morning Report — Trump complicates border wall negotiations Parkland parents ask Pulitzer panel to honor local paper for school shooting coverage MORE (R). 

Andrés, who helped in the disaster relief effort after the hurricane, also went after the president's comments earlier Thursday.

"Maybe a lot of people didn't die during the hurricane, but the number began increasing very quickly," Andrés told "CBS This Morning." 

He pointed to the human cost from the lack of water, food and electricity, which was only recently fully restored to the island.

"More than 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, and actually President Trump, as the leader of America, has a lot of blame to take," Andrés said.

The chef, who has multiple properties in the Washington, D.C., area, was sued by the Trump Organization when he pulled out of opening a restaurant in the Trump International Hotel following the then-presidential candidate's remarks on immigration.