Expresses sympathy and shares personal experience of fire damage.
Maui wildfires began on August 8, deadliest in nearly a century.
Biden’s administration criticized for delayed response.
In Lahaina on Monday, US President Joe Biden spoke with survivors of the Maui wildfires. During a 13-minute statement, Biden expressed sympathy for their plight, saying that he and First Lady Jill Biden understand the anguish of losing a house to a fire. He recalled a personal experience in 2004 when a tiny kitchen fire caused considerable damage to his Delaware home. Biden thanked the firemen who risked their lives to save his family and valuables.
The Maui wildfires, which began on August 8 and killed at least 114 people, were the deadliest in almost a century. President Biden’s administration has been chastised for what appears to be a delayed response to the calamity. By linking his personal experience to the raging wildfire, some internet users accused him of being callous. Local people have also expressed dissatisfaction with Maui officials for failing to activate an alarm system when the fire first broke out.
As President Biden visited Lahaina, the city damaged by the fires, there were fears that he might be met with hostility as a result of these accusations. Along with Hawaii’s Governor Josh Green and his wife, the President travelled around the destroyed remnants of Lahaina with First Lady Jill Biden. They also examined the damage from the air aboard Marine One, the presidential helicopter. Lahaina, a previously thriving vacation resort, today consists of several entirely demolished residences and other buildings left in ruins.
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