Maui locals react to Biden's visit to wildfire-ravaged Lahaina

President Biden received mixed reactions from residents in Maui following his visit to the area, with some believing federal authorities are more of a hinderance than help.

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On August 8, a wildfire was declared in Lahaina, a town on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

The cause has not yet been confirmed, but the prevailing theory suggests it may be due to a fallen electrical wire. This fire, which seems to not have been monitored by firefighters, reportedly rekindled during the day and completely razed Lahaina.

Emergency sirens were not activated, and according to Herman Andaya, the director of the Maui Emergency Management Agency, he was concerned that residents might run towards the fire instead of evacuating. Several people lost their lives that day because the residents were not alerted quickly enough, and the fires spread rapidly.

President Joe Biden was questioned twice about the fires that destroyed one of Maui's historic towns. Biden responded with "No comment" and "We are looking at it."

His absence during one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the United States was notable, and he was highly criticized as a result.

On August 21, Biden arrived around 11 a.m. local time aboard Air Force One. His convoy consisted of more than 20 large SUVs, ambulances and security vehicles. During the ceremony, commentators even speculated Biden, 80, fell asleep, a claim fact checkers dispute.

The public's opinion regarding his visit was highly polarized. "Most people in the (mainland U.S.) and in Hawaii don't care for Joe Biden. Especially the Hawaiian people, because he represents the government that overthrew their government back in 1919 and took over the Hawaiian kingdom," one of the residents answered.

A member of the community mentioned that whenever the government gets involved with assistance, it tends to become capitalistic.

Regarding the people living in Kahului, some believe that Biden's visit can help. "Whatever he can do to help the people of Hawaii, because they've suffered a lot here. This will be tremendous for them," a resident mentioned.

While some people showed their discontent to Biden's convoy, others believe that his visit will make him realize the extent of the disaster the wildfire caused.

Biden aimed to ensure that his visit would not hinder ongoing response and recovery efforts. However, on that day, his visit required a lot of manpower to clear the streets and protect the area. During that time, residents were partially blocked from accessing the supply site in Lahaina.

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  • By Ezra Levant

DONATE: Honokowai Relief Centre

Rebel News is also crowdfunding donations for the Honokowai Ohana Relief Centre. 100% of these proceeds will go to disaster relief efforts and rebuilding the local community. Any surplus funds will be spent on children in the neighbouring communities.


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