LIHU‘E — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are heading to Maui on Monday to join the state in mourning the loss of life and land that occurred across the island last week.
The visit was announced after Gov. Josh Green extended an invitation to President Biden and the first lady.
“In Maui, the president and first lady will be welcomed by state and local leaders to see firsthand the impacts of the wildfires and the devastating loss of life and land that has occurred on the island, as well as discuss the next steps in the recovery effort,” the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The president continues to marshal a whole-of-government response to the deadly Maui fires, and he has committed to delivering everything that the people of Hawai‘i need from the federal government as they recover from this disaster.”
The visit will come at a time when search and
recovery efforts are expected to be at a point that accommodating President Biden and the first lady can be done safely and in a way that will support recovery efforts.
Green said he was grateful for the support.
“The suffering experienced as a result of the fires on Maui is a tragic blow to our state and the people of Hawai‘i. However, we have been uplifted by the outpouring of support we have received from across our communities, across the nation and throughout the world,” said Green in a statement on Wednesday.
“We are especially grateful to President Biden for his strong support and partnership. From the first hours of the tragedy, he has enabled us to respond with the full force of the resources we need. We’ve been in constant contact with the president and his team.”
That support included President Biden making a major disaster declaration approximately six hours after the state submitted an official request for such a designation on Maui. The declaration set off a wave of support from the federal government to aid the community, including massive assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The wildfires on Maui, which started on Tuesday, Aug. 8, have claimed at least 110 lives, the County of Maui Police Department said on Wednesday.
The Lahaina Fire, which was the most destructive, was 85 percent contained as of Wednesday afternoon. The Upcountry-Kula Fire was 75 percent contained as of Wednesday afternoon. The Pulehu-Kihei fire was declared 100 percent contained on Saturday.
Wyatt Haupt Jr., editor, can be reached at 808-245-0457 or email@example.com.
Source: The Garden Island