Biden says he plans to visit Hawaii for Maui recovery efforts soon

August 16, 2023 - 9:46 AM
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Homes damaged by fire are seen in Lahaina on the island of Maui in Hawaii, U.S., August 14, 2023. (Reuters/Jorge Garcia/File Photo)

 U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he will travel to Hawaii “as soon as I can” to review recovery efforts from wildfires that swept across Maui and killed dozens of people.

Biden, at an economic event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, did not specifically say he would visit Maui itself, a nod to White House concerns that he not interfere with the ongoing effort to retrieve more bodies from destroyed buildings.

White House officials were discussing what a presidential visit would entail. Biden said he discussed a visit with Hawaii’s governor, Josh Green.

“My wife Jill and I are going to travel to Hawaii as soon as we can,” Biden said, but added, “I don’t want to get in the way.”

“I want to go and make sure we’ve got everything we need. I want to be sure we don’t disrupt the recovery efforts,” he said.

—Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; editing by Jonathan Oatis