Biden-Harris to Pass on Visiting Maui: They ‘Don’t Want to Distract’ from Relief Efforts

 August 12, 2023

According to Vice-President Harris, despite the destruction, and in the aftermath of the deadly Maui wildfires, neither President Joe Biden nor VP Harris, will visit the devastated island. Their reasoning, is because they “don’t want to distract” from the relief efforts.

Beginning on Tuesday, and continuing to blaze, the wildfires have destroyed acres of property and taken dozens of lives. On Thursday, Biden declared Maui a major disaster, opening up federal aid for the impacted areas. The federal government has also released food and water to support 5,000 people for five days.

Reportedly, Harris told reporters before boarding Air Force Two for Chicago-

“We don’t want to distract from the resources that need to go in to the victims of this tragedy, and of course, the needs of the first responders have to be able to focus on that issue and not worry about focusing on us [because] we’re there,”

“We are coordinating federal resources to swiftly get there to support the work in terms of recovery but to just support the folks on the ground. It is tragic,” [adding that she and Biden are] “deeply concerned” [about the wildfires].

-Vice President Kamala Harris

The wildfires have destroyed at least 2,000 acres of land, including 80 percent of the Maui town Lahaina, a rich cultural area that was once the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Making it the deadliest wildfire on U.S. soil since the 2018 Camp Fire in California, that  killed at least 85 people, local officials said the death toll has risen to 67. Gov. Josh Green (D) on Thursday cautioned that the death toll would rise “significantly” in the coming days.

Power, internet, and communication outages caused by the fire have significantly impacted rescue and relief efforts. Maui Rescue Mission communications consultant Lauren Henrie said-

“We as a local nonprofit are not able to even access anything west of Maalaea. West Maui is completely cut off from communication and power,”… “We are looking at years, years of recovery here.”

-Maui Rescue Mission Communications Consultant Lauren Henrie

“Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live.”

-Robert F. Kennedy
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