Headline RoundupAugust 21st, 2023

Biden Visits Maui As Crews Continue to Survey Aftermath of Wildfires

Summary from the AllSides News Team

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden arrived in Hawaii on Monday to survey the damage caused by a string of wildfires two weeks ago and speak with residents.

For Context: Hawaii is suffering through the aftermath of the deadliest string of wildfires in modern United States history. Over 100 people are dead, hundreds remain missing, and thousands are displaced after a wildfire leveled entire neighborhoods in the village of Lahaina on the western side of Maui. 

Details: After a helicopter tour of Lahaina, Biden addressed reporters and Hawaii officials, stating, “The country grieves with you, stands with you and will do everything possible to help you recover, rebuild and respect culture and traditions when the rebuilding takes place.” Biden promised to help the impacted areas “rebuild the way people of Maui want it built.” This comes after some residents voiced fears that the wildfires will exacerbate the existing housing affordability crisis on the island, with some residents reportedly being contacted by land developers with offers to purchase destroyed property shortly after the fires. 

How the Media Covered It: Biden’s visit was covered moderately across the spectrum, more prominently in left-rated outlets. Coverage in right- and center-rated outlets prominently highlighted criticism from Hawaii residents toward Biden for his administration’s response to the fires. The New York Post (Lean Right bias) reported that Biden “took time out Monday from his weeklong vacation at a Democratic billionaire’s Lake Tahoe mansion for a day trip to Hawaii.”

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