Nearly 100 people have been confirmed dead after a catastrophic wildfire raged through Lahaina, a historic town on the island of Maui, but President Joe Biden is too busy vacationing near his Delaware beach home to care.
As of Sunday, the deadly fire was largely contained but rescuers had only picked through 3 percent of the charred ruins. They warned that the death toll on Hawaii’s second-largest island is expected to rise significantly as the search for some 1,000 missing people continues. The cost of damage to the island’s infrastructure, which Gov. Josh Green estimated to be close to $6 billion, is also expected to rise.
The deadliest wildfire in modern U.S. history deserves more attention not just from the media but also from the White House. Biden, however, offered reporters “no comment” on the tragedy, its victims, or its survivors as he wrapped up his tanning time on Rehoboth Beach on Sunday.
The president could have easily mentioned the White House’s official statement released on Wednesday ordering “all available Federal assets on the Islands to help with response.” Biden also could have pulled a talking point or two from his Thursday speech about the calamity. Instead, he refused to say a word of compassion.
Biden’s “no comment” shows yet again that he’s incapable of thinking on his feet or on his own. When Biden is on the clock and has a script written by his team, Maui will get “everything it needs.” When he’s on vacation and asked to respond off the cuff, Biden has no words of comfort or plan of action.
When Biden kicked off his 2020 presidential campaign, his handlers and the corporate media painted him as the only empathetic candidate in the race.
“Empathy is on the ballot,” Jill Biden tweeted shortly before Election Day.
After he took office, Biden and the media continued to frame his every action as driven by “empathy.”
In the two and half years since he was inaugurated, however, Biden and his “empathy” have spent more than 365 days hanging out away from his duties and the White House.
This past week’s disaster in Hawaii is not the first time Biden and his administration have blown off a national crisis to enjoy some sun. When the Taliban quickly overtook the capital of Afghanistan in 2021, the president hid out at Camp David while his then-Press Secretary Jen Psaki enjoyed her vacation away from her desk. Biden’s Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, similarly, refused to answer a reporter’s question about the chemical catastrophe in East Palestine, Ohio, earlier this year because he was taking some “personal time.”