President Biden is headed to Hawaii on Monday following backlash for his initial refusal to comment on the deadly fires that have killed at least 11 people.
According to the White House Biden’s trip will ‘bring hope’ to the people of Hawaii
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The wildfire that broke out on August 8 in the town of Lahaina is now the deadliest in more than a century, and is the fifth-deadliest on record for the US.
Around 2,200 buildings have been decimated by the inferno and around 1,300 people are still missing
The president is set to take a trip to Maui with First Lady Jill. He was criticized by Republicans for not addressing the crisis sooner. When asked about the blaze on Sunday, the president told a reporter ‘no comment’ as he lounged on the beach near his Delaware vacation home.
The Mail Online reports: The ‘no comment’ remark prompted outrage from even some of his Democratic allies.
‘I campaigned for you,’ said former Hawaii legislator Kaniela Ing on Monday on X. ‘Now, when I lose dozens of my friends, family, and neighbors. This?’
Biden will jet over to Maui from Lake Tahoe – where he arrives Friday for a vacation. The president had originally been planning to spend six days at the ritzy Nevada vacation spot but opted to cut the trip short amid criticism.
More than 3,000 people have registered for federal assistance, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and that number is expected to grow.
FEMA is providing $700 to displaced residents to cover the cost of food, water, first aid and medical supplies, in addition to qualifying coverage for the loss of homes and personal property.
The Biden administration is also seeking $12 billion more for the government’s disaster relief fund, as part of its supplemental funding request to Congress.
Before Biden announced his visit, Republicans compared his lack of a visit to East Palestine, Ohio – where a train derailed and spilled toxic chemicals, displacing 100s. Biden had promised to visit the Ohio town but never did.
‘President Biden completely ignored the people of East Palestine. Now, he’s giving the people of Maui the same treatment,’ Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
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