Tuesday, 23 Apr 2024

Joe Biden appears to forget the name of devastated Maui

President Joe Biden seemed to forget the name of devastated Maui as he spoke publicly for the first time about the Hawaii wildfires – four days after saying he had ‘no comment’.

Biden, 80, addressed the deadly wildfires at the start of a speech in Milwaukee promoting his economic initiatives Tuesday afternoon, two days after declining to comment on the rising death toll.

He mentioned the state of Hawaii and its hard-hit island of Maui multiple times. But later in his speech, Biden appeared to forget the name of Maui, where an entire historic city burned to the ground.

‘The army helicopters helped fire suppression and efforts in the Big Island,’ said Biden, ‘Because there’s still some burning on the Big Island, not the one, not the one where, you see on television all the time’.

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Catastrophic wildfires started in Maui a week ago, on August 8. The devastating flames wiped out Lahaina and residents ran into the ocean to escape the flames and smoke. As of Monday, the wildfires in Maui had killed at least 99 people.

On Sunday, reporters asked Biden on Rehoboth Beach about the rising death toll in the Aloha State.

‘No comment,’ said Biden, according to Bloomberg reporter Justin Sink, and headed to his home in the beachside Delaware city.

Biden on Tuesday detailed federal relief efforts for the deadliest US wildfire in more than a century. He announced $700 one-time grants to victims through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

After a couple hours on the Rehoboth beach, @potus was asked about the rising death toll in Hawaii

“No comment,” he said before heading home pic.twitter.com/Y0UmXirju9

The president also said he and the first lady will visit the burned sites, but said he had not yet determined when.

‘My wife Jill and I are going to travel to Hawaii as soon as we can,’ he said.

‘That’s what I’ve been talking to the governor about. I don’t want to get in the way. I’ve been to too many disaster areas.

‘But I want to go make sure we got everything they need. Want to be sure we don’t disrupt the ongoing recovery efforts.’

Biden concluded his remarks on the wildfires by saying that the administration’s thoughts and prayers were with the Hawaiian people.

‘Not just our prayers, every asset, every asset they need will be there in Maui as long as it takes. As long as it takes,’ he said. ‘I mean that sincerely.’

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