‘Go home Joe!’ Maui protesters slam Joe Biden with ‘no comment’ sign and ‘late’ response to wildfire disaster

 ‘Go home Joe!’ Maui protesters slam Joe Biden with ‘no comment’ sign and ‘late’ response to wildfire disaster

Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden encountered a hostile reception during his visit to Maui on Monday to assess the damage from the catastrophic wildfires that tragically claimed the lives of at least 114 individuals last week. Angry protesters, primarily residents of the western part of Maui, where the historic town of Lahaina was devastated by the flames on August 8, confronted the president. They expressed their frustration by waving middle fingers, hurling insults, and displaying signs reading “no comment” as he departed Kapalua Airport in his motorcade.

These protesters accused Biden of being tardy, apathetic, and ineffectual in responding to the disaster. As Biden passed by, they chanted “Go home Joe!” just before he delivered a prepared speech lauding federal efforts, despite local complaints about insufficient assistance.

The 80-year-old president, who is seeking re-election next year, has faced harsh criticism, even from some members of his own party, for his perceived lack of empathy and urgency in the wake of the worst wildfires in the United States in over a century.

As Biden made his way toward historic downtown Lahaina, he encountered signs bearing messages such as “NO COMMENT,” “REALLY $7,” “ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS,” and “FJB,” alongside flags endorsing former President Donald Trump’s 2024 candidacy.

Dennis Mullen, 58, of Kahana, voiced his concerns, stating, “Where has the president been?” He emphasized that the airport where the presidential plane landed was not effectively utilized to bring in much-needed supplies. Mullen explained, “Any number of military aircraft, planes, and helicopters could have flown in here. To leave a town that was just devastated and shut down was just ridiculous. The runway wasn’t cratered.”

The tragic loss of life in Maui resulted from a series of apparent errors by officials who failed to activate emergency alarms or release water in a timely manner to combat the fire. The victims included children, including a 7-year-old boy who perished with his family in their car. Most of the deceased have yet to be identified, and approximately 850 people are still unaccounted for.

Biden drew outrage from Hawaiians when he responded with “No comment” to questions about the disaster on August 13 after spending time on a Delaware beach. He also declined to comment when questioned about his upcoming trip to Maui on Thursday, saying, “No, not now.”

Dean Fuchs, 59, of Kihei in eastern Maui, voiced his concerns during the president’s motorcade passage, inverting a Hawaiian state flag. Fuchs remarked, “The president’s kinda late, don’t you think?” He added, “When he was asked about the disaster in Maui and he said ‘no comment,’ that was disrespectful to the people of Maui who have lost so much. We’re here to send the president a message that we’re displeased with the federal response.”

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