Hawaiians balked at Biden seemingly using them as props after appearing unsympathetic in response to the state’s biggest natural disaster which will cost an estimated $6 billion to restore.
Jay Awan, a 45-year-old cook and tiki carver in Lahaina, told The New York Post, “I don’t want him here. He’s just coming to Maui to look good in front of the cameras.”
“It’s like a f*cking warzone here,” he added. “Maui’s never going to be the same. Lahaina’s never going to be the same. They’re going to put resorts up all along here — Lahaina is going to lose its character as an old whaling village. We can’t get the historical sites back.”
Another Lahaina resident, Peter Friedgen, a 66-year-old guitarist, told The Post, “It’s a waiting game now for someone to show up — the government, insurers. I’ve just been down the beach, waiting for people to get into town.”
60-year-old accountant Kristi Bowman told the outlet she only wants Biden to visit so that he can show the world how bad the devastation truly is. “We haven’t had federal support. We’ve had local support, not federal.”
She brushed off Biden’s minuscule promise of a $700 one-time relief payment per affected resident and said FEMA’s bureaucracy was causing problems for victims of the tragedy. “I filed an application for somebody for disaster funding and it already got denied, saying they didn’t have proof from the insurance company over how much their losses were — but there’s no possible way to get that information right now.”
Over the weekend, Biden received backlash, even from fellow Democrats, after saying, “No Comment” when asked about the devastating fires. On Tuesday, he appeared to forget the name “Maui” in a speech and referred to it as “the one where you see on television all of the time.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre was also caught writing a tweet for Biden attempting to show compassion for those affected by the tragedy when she accidentally posted in Biden’s voice from her account on X.
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