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Biden defends government's response to Maui wildfire disaster

President Biden urged the residents of Maui to try and understand that the federal government's work is "going to take time."
Biden defends government's response to Maui wildfire disaster
Posted at 9:38 PM, Aug 30, 2023

As residents and stakeholders connected to the island of Maui in the state of Hawaii work to rebuild, recover, identify the missing and figure out how to move forward, frustration is growing with the federal government's response. 

President Joe Biden tried to explain why the process is working the way it is, and what the federal government is willing to do to help the residents of the island. 

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“I want to be clear with the people of Maui about what to expect. The work we’re doing is going to take time,” Biden said on Wednesday. 

The president said, "we’re doing everything we can," when answering questions from reporters at the White House. "It’s really tough."

Acknowledging the high level of anger from many residents in Hawaii at the federal response, Biden said the timeline is "going to be frustrating as the devil for people."

The president made the remarks while also touching on the federal response to Hurricane Idalia. He said he had just finished speaking with the governors of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, where that storm hit. 

Crews in Hawaii have spent weeks now searching for victims after a devastating wildfire tore through sections of the island. Authorities called those searches off on Wednesday, cementing the blaze the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century. 

After three weeks of searching, the number of dead stands at 115, yet it was still unclear to the government exactly how many people were killed. 

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