President Biden visited the fire-devastated Hawaiian island of Maui on Monday, pledging federal support for rebuilding efforts. Biden’s visit came as the death toll from this month’s fire in the historic town of Lāhainā rose to 115, with more than 800 people still missing.
President Joe Biden: “But I also want all of you to know the country grieves with you, stands with you, and we’ll do everything possible to help you recover, rebuild, and respect culture and traditions when the rebuilding takes place.”
Climate groups are calling on Biden to declare a climate emergency in the wake of the Maui fires and to protect survivors from predatory land grabs. Kaniela Ing, national director of the Green New Deal Network and a Native Hawaiian from Maui, said, “I hope President Biden will protect displaced residents from the disaster capitalists seeking to profit off their grief by instituting a moratorium on foreclosures and subsidizing mortgage and rent payments for at least a year.”