president Joe Biden takes off Friday for Lake Tahoe for another summer vacation, as the White House has yet to announce plans for him to visit fire-ravaged Hawaii.
He did not answer questions on the issue when he returned to work Monday after a weekend at the beach, after avoiding commenting on this weekend’s tragedy.
The president is scheduled to arrive in Lake Tahoe on Friday, August 18, and will remain there until the following Thursday, according to the White House.
But it has not been said whether it will head further west to see the billions of dollars in damages and visiting displaced residents on Maui, where forest fires ran through the area at a speed of up to one mile per hour.
President Biden returns to the White House Monday after a weekend in Rehoboth Beach and did not respond to questions about the wildfires in Hawaii
President Biden has been silent on the subject
He did not take questions from reporters when he returned to the White House on Monday afternoon after spending the weekend at his beach house in Rehoboth, Delaware. During that trip he was criticized by Republicans for not commenting on the forest fires that have killed 96 people.
The president was on his way to the beach with friends when he was asked about the rising death toll in Hawaii.
“No comment,” he replied.
Earlier, when he was out cycling with wife Jill, he was asked if he was visiting the state.
“We’re looking at it,” he said.
Biden and his team may believe they have other reasons for avoiding the press rather than addressing the national tragedy. On Friday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that he had appointed David Weiss as the special counsel investigating Hunter Biden. Prosecutors, in a filing Friday, said they expected the president’s son’s case to go to trial.
Biden vacationed in Rehoboth Beach for a week earlier this month. He heads to Nevada on Friday for his second vacation after hosting a summit at Camp David with the leaders of Japan and South Korea.
The topic is the annual joint military exercises between the three nations, but the focus will also be on the fight against China and North Korea.
The White House has not said what Biden will do during his time in Lake Tahoe.
While in Rehoboth, he and the first lady rode bikes, sat on the beach and even had a date night where they watched the movie “Oppenheimer.”
The freshwater area of Lake Tahoe is known for its beach, ski resorts and state parks. In summer it is known for hiking, fishing, boating and golf. There are also many places to go shopping.
Burned trees and ruined homes are what’s left after a wildfire burned through Lahaina, Hawaii
Oprah Winfrey visited displaced persons residences in Maui
Meanwhile, Hawaii’s governor warned that the death toll is likely to rise as search teams go street by street through neighborhoods where the flames have caused massive destruction.
“We’re prepared for a lot of tragic stories,” Gov. Josh Green told CBS Mornings. “They’ll find 10 to 20 people a day, probably, until they’re done. And it’ll probably take 10 days. It’s impossible to guess, really.
As cellphone service has slowly been restored, the number of people missing has dropped to about 1,300 from more than 2,000, Green said.
Biden approved one declaring an emergency for the state, releasing federal rescue funds and sending in FEMA officials.
“The response from our well-funded, tax-paid government is incredibly pathetic,” said Paul Romero, a gym owner in Kihei.
he said The New York Times: ‘We can’t even understand what they did, what they didn’t do, what they’re still not doing.’
The fire that tore through Lahaina nearly a week ago destroyed nearly every building in the city of 13,000, leaving a mountain of debris in the coastal city. According to the region, this fire has been contained by 85%. Another blaze known as the Upcountry fire is 60 percent contained, officials told the Associated Press.
There was an estimated $5.6 billion in damage.
Damage from the wildfire has been estimated at $5.6 billion
Hawaii’s governor has warned that the death toll could rise from the devastation of the fires
Many people have gathered at the War Memorial Gymnasium in Wailuku, which has served as a shelter. Among the visitors was Oprah Winfrey, who said this to Hawaii News Now has delivered personal hygiene productstowels and water in the last days.
The cause of the wildfires is under investigation, but the dry summer and winds from passing hurricanes fueled the flames, which swept across Maui.