President Joe Biden’s response to the horrific wildfires on Maui was an unmitigated disaster.
First, Biden had “no comment” about the tragedy as it was unfolding while he was on vacation. Once he got to Hawaii, residents greeted him with extended middle fingers and chants of “f–k you.”
The president later came off as tone-deaf in talking about how a fire in his kitchen long ago nearly cost him a cat and his beloved Corvette, when at least 114 Hawaiians are dead and hundreds more are missing. Finally, the nation’s top Democrat then appeared to nod off during a ceremony honoring the victims.
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Now, it appears the Federal Emergency Management Agency is compounding Biden’s bad press — at least in the conservative media.
As The Daily Mail reported on Wednesday, “Bungling U.S. government bureaucrats dispatched to the Maui disaster zone are shacked up in $1,000-a-night luxury hotels on the Hawaiian island.”
“More than 1,000 of its [FEMA] personnel at four bank-breaking resorts in Wailea after the deadliest wildfire in the U.S. for more than a century that caused an estimated $5 billion in damage.”
The location of FEMA’s respondents, who have been housed in at least three five-star resorts, is also 45 minutes from Lahaina, the epicenter of the disaster. “Shouldn’t they stay closer to the site, instead of staying across on the other side of the island?” one hotel worker told the Daily Mail.
One of the hotels where FEMA personnel are staying bills itself as the only “all-suite” hotel in the state, with rooms spanning at least 860 square feet.
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The outlet reported that FEMA declined to comment on why it selected those resort accommodations.
But the agency defended itself in a statement to the Daily Mail.
“In the immediate aftermath of the tragic Maui wildfires, FEMA surged personnel, including hundreds of search and rescue teams, to provide relief to the survivors and support to the state and local governments as quickly as possible,” the agency said.
“To complete that mission, FEMA selects hotels where all responders can be centrally located to ensure the most effective response possible. Due to the lack of available lodging, FEMA negotiated government rates, at the lowest possible cost, for staff temporarily staying in the available hotels.”
“As we transition into recovery, staff will move to longer term, more affordable responder lodging as they fulfill our commitment to support Maui,” the statement added.
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