WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will be travelling to Hawaii on August 21 to meet the survivors and review the recovery work after massive wildfires have claimed over 100 lives.
“The President and First Lady will travel to Maui on Monday, August 21 to meet with first responders, survivors, as well as federal, state, and local officials, in the wake of deadly wildfires on the island,” the White House said in a statement.
Notably, the visit comes amid mounting pressure on Biden, who – despite signing a federal disaster declaration last week – had only sparingly referenced the disaster, which has left at least 100 dead. The relative silence did not go unnoticed by Biden’s critics, including former President Donald Trump and other Republicans, and the Biden administration in recent days has been promoting its commitment to helping local authorities recover and rebuild, as per CNN.
The President and First Lady will be welcomed by state and local leaders in Maui, to see first-hand the impact of the wildfires and the devastating loss of life and land that has occurred on the island, as well as discuss the next steps in the recovery effort.
The President continues to marshal a whole-of-government response to the deadly Maui fires, and he has committed to delivering everything that the people of Hawaii need from the federal government as they recover from this disaster, the White House stated.
Over the past week, President Biden has stayed closely in touch with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, Hawaii Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, as well as Hawaii Governor Josh Green, who advised that the search and recovery efforts are expected to be at a stage early next week to allow for a presidential visit, according to the White House.
Meanwhile, the deadliest US wildfire which horrified the entire world, showed an increase in death toll to 106, reported CNN. According to Hawaii’s governor, identifying the people killed in the Maui wildfires will be ‘very difficult’ and likely take weeks.
Moreover, Hawaii Governor Josh Green said that a genetic team will be coming in to help identify the victims. Hundreds of searchers with cadaver dogs are still trying to comb through the ashes of a what used to be homes and businesses before the deadliest wildfire destroyed it all, according to CNN. (ANI)