President Biden was blasted by former President Trump for grinning and responding, “No comment,” when questioned about the mounting death toll caused by the wildfires there this past week. The White House then made the announcement that Mr. Biden would be traveling to Maui this week.
This past week, a reporter had asked Biden whether he had anything to say about the growing number of deaths. Biden smiled and said, “No, no comment.”
Biden had just spent a couple of days relaxing at his beach house in Rehoboth, Delaware, and was on his way back to the White House at that time.
Later the same day, Trump put out a video in which he criticized Biden.
“It is fine to respond with ‘no comment’ sometimes, but it is terrible and unacceptable to do so while smiling, especially in the face of a tragedy like this,” Trump said.
“It is shameful that Joe Biden won’t help or say anything about the tragedy in Maui, just as he didn’t help or say anything for an extremely lengthy period of time about the train crash in East Palestine, Ohio.”
Trump, who is seeking nomination for re-election in 2024, is the most popular Republican candidate in the primary.
Conservative critics and journalists also said that Biden’s answer was too cold.
In a statement issued this week, White House Press Sec. Karine Jean-Pierre said, “The President along with First Lady will be traveling to Maui next week, in order to meet with some first responders, those who have survived, in addition to state, federal, and local officials, in the aftermath of the Hawaiian island’s deadly wildfires.”
At least 106 people are known to be dead, and over 1,300 people are still missing. The fires on Maui represent the deadliest in the United States in more than a hundred years.