President Biden and First Lady Jill will visit Maui, Hawaii on Monday following last week’s devastating fire.
The Bidens will meet with first responders and survivors, along with local officials in Maui.
“The President and First Lady will be welcomed by state and local leaders to see firsthand the impacts of the wildfires and the devastating loss of life and land that has occurred on the island, as well as discuss the next steps in the recovery effort,” reads a press release from the White House. “The President continues to marshal a whole-of-government response to the deadly Maui fires, and he has committed to delivering everything that the people of Hawaii need from the federal government as they recover from this disaster.”
“Over the past week, President Biden has stayed closely in touch with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, Hawaii Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, as well as Hawaii Governor Josh Green, who advised that the search and recovery efforts are expected to be at a stage early next week to allow for a presidential visit.”
.@POTUS and @FLOTUS will travel to Maui on Monday, August 21 to meet with first responders, survivors, as well as federal, state, and local officials, in the wake of deadly wildfires on the island. pic.twitter.com/rc9n0XhdWO
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 16, 2023
The announcement of Biden’s visit to Maui follows reports of the President being on a beach vacation during the fire.
When reporters questioned Biden about the fire on Monday, he said, “No comment.”
Former President Donald Trump shared a video to Truth Social slamming President Biden’s response and expressing his sympathy for Maui residents impacted by the fire.
“When asked about it today, as he was getting into a car, perhaps coming home from the beach, where he has been spending a great deal of time, crooked Joe Biden, the most incompetent president in the history of our country, with a laugh and a smile said he had no comment on the death and the tragedy,” Trump said of Biden’s response to the Maui fire. “To say no comment is oftentimes fine but to be smiling when you say it, especially against such a tragedy as this is absolutely horrible and unacceptable.”
“It is a disgraceful thing that Joe Biden refuses to help or comment on the tragedy in Maui, just as he refused to help or comment on the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, for a very very long time,” he continued, adding he hopes everyone can “pull together so that a horrible situation does not get even worse.”
“To the families affected, I give you my love and sympathy,” Trump concluded. “Nothing can ever replace your loved ones. But you will always have the memories and will feel their great love surrounding and embracing you.”
“Together we will continue to carry their legacy forward and I love you all very much.”
Over 100 deaths have been reported as of Wednesday, per CNN.
“Over the course of the next several weeks, we’ll be able to confirm who passed away. But it’s gonna be very difficult going,” Hawaii Governor Josh Green told the outlet.
“I think many of the fatalities that we’ll ultimately discover, a higher percentage will be from there,” he said. “But now that we’re going to the houses, we are not sure what we will see. We’re hopeful and praying that it’s not large, large numbers.”