The Hawaiian island of Maui has been devastated by massive wildfires in recent days, with Fox News reporting that at least 93 people have lost their lives in a death toll that is expected to rise.
Yet rather than express empathy for the victims, President Joe Biden was quick to shut down any discussion of their suffering.
That fact was evident from a video tweeted out by RNC Research on Monday. It showed Biden telling a reporter that he had "no comment" after being asked about Maui's rising death toll.
"Any comment on the rising death toll in Maui?"
BIDEN: "No. No comment." pic.twitter.com/oORpRuLUpz
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 14, 2023
Those words sparked a massive online backlash, including from television personality Piers Morgan, who called Biden's remarks "disgraceful" and "just appalling."
Disgraceful response by President Biden. A ‘no comment’ and then a smirk when asked about the horrendous Maui disaster.. just appalling. pic.twitter.com/4eCXJIkhK2
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 14, 2023
National Review contributor Pradheep J. Shanker spoke up as well, slamming the president for being "absolutely embarrassing." Shanker added, "The largest wildfire tragedy in modern American history, and the President has nothing significant to say about it?"
Absolutely embarrassing. The largest wildfire tragedy in modern American history, and the President has nothing significant to say about it? https://t.co/ONZnwKpQke
— Pradheep J. Shanker (@Neoavatara) August 14, 2023
Meanwhile, former Trump advisor and conservative commentator Stephen L. Miller highlighted how Biden appears more interested in vacationing than those who have been killed.
He just came back from a 14 day beach vacation. Spent 4 days in DC, now is back on the beach and has no comment for wildfires that wiped out entire communities. Just incredible stuff. https://t.co/eVJMXIG0bP
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) August 14, 2023
Fox News noted that even some on the left were critical of the president's response, with MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan saying it was another example of Biden's "unforced errors" that will "hurt him."
The Independent also reported that Biden was slammed for only offering a one-time $700 payment to those who have been displaced.
2. We're laser-focused on getting aid to survivors, including Critical Needs Assistance: a one-time $700 payment per household offering relief during an unimaginably difficult time.
We have staff on the ground dedicated to helping survivors navigate the registration process.
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 14, 2023
Critics were quick to draw a contrast between the relatively small amount of funds offered to Maui survivors and the over $100 billion Biden has sent to Ukraine.