Alejandro Mayorkas, the Secretary of Homeland Security, has publicly praised the Biden administration for being "culturally sensitive" in handling the disastrous wildfires in Hawaii.
Mayorkas spoke to MSNBC about the administration's approach, saying, "We are working with experts so that we are culturally sensitive to the needs of individuals on the island."
This statement came in response to inquiries regarding criticism that the government's reaction to the disaster has been less than prompt.
President Joe Biden is set to visit the state on Monday, almost two weeks since the fire started, and plans to survey the damage for a few hours before heading back to Nevada later in the day, the Washington Free Beacon reports.
The Maui wildfires have claimed at least 114 lives, marking it the most fatal wildfire in the recent history of the U.S. The death toll may continue to rise as nearly 1,000 individuals remain unaccounted for, and the search for human remains continues on the island.
In addition, there has been dissatisfaction aimed at Deanne Criswell, the head of FEMA under Biden, for her lack of clarity regarding why so many people are still missing.
Criswell's explanation to CNN was, "There's a lot of different reasons on why people are unaccounted for."
President Biden himself has not been exempt from criticism, particularly for appearing indifferent to questions related to the wildfires. After his initial remarks on the disaster, the president remained silent about it for a span of four days.
When questioned about his upcoming trip, Biden's only response was, "No, not now," indicating reluctance to provide further details at that time.