President Joe Biden refused to comment on the rising death toll in Hawaii after he spent several hours on Sunday relaxing on the beach in Delaware during his vacation, the Daily Mail reported.
As Biden left the beach, he was asked for his response to the wildfires that have killed 96 people, to which he replied, "No comment."
During a bike ride earlier in the day, Biden gave a similar answer when asked about the tragedy, which is Hawaii's worst natural disaster ever, saying, "We're looking at it."
The president's responses to the tragedy generated harsh criticism, with Monica Crowley, U.S. Treasury Department assistant secretary for public affairs during the Trump administration, posting on X that Biden "doesn't care about the suffering people of Maui. Or the suffering people of East Palestine, Ohio [from the toxic spill unleashed by a train derailment there earlier this year]. Or the suffering people in border towns. Or the suffering people anywhere in America."
Republican Kari Lake, who lost her election to be Arizona's governor last year, also slammed Biden, writing on X that "one of the most beautiful places on earth has been reduced to cinders. In Delaware: @JoeBiden can't be bothered to care. Putting America First means getting this joker out of the White House."
Lake added that Biden "rode his bike to the beach while the people of Lahaina, Hawaii, dug through the ashes of their shattered community. And Nero fiddled while Rome burned."
Last week Biden declared a major disaster on Maui, vowing that the federal response will ensure that "anyone who's lost a loved one, or whose home has been damaged or destroyed, is going to get help immediately," according to the New York Post.
White House officials said Sunday that Biden was updated by FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell on the situation in Maui, according to Fox News.
Following that, Biden posted a comment on X late Monday morning stating that "as residents of Hawai'i mourn the loss of life and devastation taking place across their beautiful home, we mourn with them. Like I've said, not only our prayers are with those impacted — but every asset we have will be available to them."
The president added: "We're laser-focused on getting aid to survivors, including Critical Needs Assistance: a one-time $700 payment per household offering relief during an unimaginably difficult time. We have staff on the ground dedicated to helping survivors navigate the registration process."
Brian Freeman ✉
Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.
© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.