President Joe Biden’s noticeable absence and apparent lack of empathy towards the residents of Maui serve as a stark indication that he doesn’t prioritize the needs of Americans in distress.
In a recent CNN interview, a longtime resident of Maui became emotional when asked about the delay in President Biden’s visit to the devastated area and the people affected by the wildfires.
“It’s really affecting me because where’s the President?” Maui resident Ella Sable Tacderan asked. “I mean, aren’t we Americans, too? We’re part of the United States. Why are we getting put in the back pocket? Why are we being ignored?”
As the death toll continues to rise, criticism mounts against Biden for not having visited the Hawaiian island yet.
“I don’t want him here,” Lahaina resident Jay Awan said. “He’s just coming to Maui to look good in front of the cameras.”
While Biden allocates millions of dollars to Ukraine, his recent announcement of a one-time payment of merely $700 to the residents of Maui appears rather insignificant.
On Tuesday, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House Press Secretary, responded to critics who dismissed the plans for President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden to finally visit Maui. She firmly defended their decision, emphasizing the importance of the trip and the significance it holds.
“Where’s the president?” asks one survivor of the Maui wildfires.
“Aren’t we Americans, too? We’re part of the United States, but why are we getting put in the back pocket? Why are we being ignored?” pic.twitter.com/QV2lOGhiCq
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 19, 2023
Residents aren’t just angry with Biden. They are furious with local officials one has already resigned after saying they didn’t regret not sounding the sirens.
Even CNN reported that a delay from Hawaiian officials to divert water to help firemen made the disaster even worse.
Glenn Tremble of the West Maui Land Company, which manages water supply companies, told CNN that hours went by before he received an answer from Kaleo Manuel, State of Hawaii Commission on Water Resource Management Deputy Director.
“We anxiously awaited the morning knowing that we could have made more water available to (the fire department) if our request had been immediately approved,” he wrote. “We cannot know whether filling our reservoirs at 1:00 p.m. (as opposed to not at all) would have changed the headlines when dawn broke… We know that we need to act faster during an emergency.”
When CNN asked Hawaiian Governor Josh Green about the delay he said, “One thing that people need to understand, especially from far away, is there’s been a great deal of water conflict on Maui for many years.”