Biden family pause second vacation in August to briefly visit Maui following deadly wildfires

August 22, 2023
Ben Marquis

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill finally traveled to the Hawaiian Island of Maui on Monday, more than a week after it was scorched by deadly and devastating wildfires that completely destroyed entire communities and potentially claimed hundreds of lives.

That belated visit to the disaster zone came amid what is the second vacation so far in August for the Biden family, as they are slated to spend the week relaxing in the luxurious home of a billionaire supporter on Nevada's side of Lake Tahoe, according to the Western Journal.

Indeed, it strongly appears that Monday's visit to Maui was a last-minute effort by a White House scrambling to fend off criticism that Biden largely ignored the grievous destruction and loss of life while vacationing earlier at his family beach home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Vacationing at Tom Steyer's home on Lake Tahoe

Fox Business reported on Saturday that President and first lady Biden arrived in Nevada on Friday, where they met with Hunter Biden and other family members, for a week-long stay at a Lake Tahoe vacation home owned by billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer.

Steyer is a multi-billionaire investor and climate change activist who financially supported Biden's 2020 presidential campaign following the demise of his own futile self-funded bid for the Democratic Party's nomination in that election cycle.

Prior to the arrival at Steyer's Lake Tahoe home, which the White House insisted would be "rented for fair market value, " the president had just returned from hosting a summit with the leaders of Japan and South Korea at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, which followed close on the heels of an extended stay for Biden earlier this month at his oceanfront property in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

The president had already been facing sharp criticism for offering up a smirk and a wave and "no comment" when asked more than a week ago about the rising death toll and expansive devastation of the Maui wildfires while he was busy relaxing on his vacation at the beach.

According to the Biden Vacation Tracker, which appears to have not been updated since early April and therefore doesn't include many recent getaways, the president at that time had already spent at least 317 days on vacation since taking office in January 2021, or about 40 percent of his presidency thus far, at an estimated cost to taxpayers of more than $12 million.

White House scrambles to respond amid sharp criticism

The Fox Business report noted that President Biden's Lake Tahoe vacation would be briefly "paused" on Monday in order for him to pay a visit to Maui to meet with government officials and first responders and survey the extraordinary destruction that occurred.

That was confirmed by a White House statement on Sunday about the impending trip to Hawaii, which also doubled as a "fact sheet" that sought to publicize the various measures of support his administration had extended since the beginning of the deadly wildfires on the island of Maui.

As previously asserted, however, the belated response from the president and his White House appears to have been driven by the stinging critiques against a president who seemingly couldn't be bothered during yet another vacation to deal with a developing tragedy and natural disaster of epic proportions.

Death toll expected to climb precipitously as missing remains are recovered

According to CNN, as of Monday, there were at least 114 confirmed deaths due to the wildfires that began on August 8 and swiftly spread across the island within a few days. That death toll is expected to climb substantially, as more than 1,000 people, many of them children, remain missing and unaccounted for and are suspected to have also perished in the horrific inferno, particularly in the once beautiful and prosperous community of Lahaina which is now all but completely destroyed.

Though some have sought to blame the natural disaster on "climate change," in reality, the immense destruction and tragic loss of life appear to be the result of a series of unfortunate policy decisions and incompetence by elected and appointed officials.

Add to that the decidedly bad optics of the president and first lady continuing to enjoy their time on vacation while Maui residents grieve the loss of their homes and possessions and await word on missing loved ones as workers continue to sift through the scorched rubble for any human remains, and it is easy to see why the White House is now scrambling in damage control mode.

Latest News

© 2023 - Patriot News Alerts