WH Says Aid To Maui Happened In ‘Record Time’

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended President Joe Biden's response to the Maui wildfires on Wednesday, claiming that the President had acted in “record time” despite facing criticism for not doing enough while he was on vacation.

At a press briefing, a reporter asked whether or not the White House had realized that the initial response to the fires "was not that good" or whether it was "easier for people to get help from the White House when the president is not on vacation."

Jean-Pierre strongly rejected the claims while acknowledging that the Governor of Hawaii and the local and state officials had praised Biden's response.

"The president reacted in record time when it came to dealing with the wildfires, when it came to dealing and making sure that they got everything that they need on the federal level to deal with what was going on on the ground," she said. "Let's not forget, there were more than 600 federal employees on the ground already to assist with the wildfires in Maui."

She went on to suggest that reporters contact the governor and other officials in Hawaii for more information about the response.

The response was prompted by criticism from environmental activists and residents in Maui, which is home to South Hawaii Volcano National Park, an extreme fire danger zone. Although the White House claims the response is robust, there have been worrying signs.

The slow response at the start of the fires led to a delay in aid, resulting in increased fire damage. Furthermore, the lack of resources to combat the fires, including the limited number of water-carrying helicopters, also proved an issue.

Biden was critical of similar tardiness during the forest fires in California a year ago, so it's not surprising that he's been criticized for similar reasons now.

However, the Biden administration has credited itself with swiftly increasing resources and funds to battle the fires, as well as providing additional help to the state and local governments such as the Hawaii National Guard.

Time will tell if the president's response will be sufficient to prevent further damage and destruction from the Hawaii wildfires.

In the meantime, however, the White House will continue to defend its record. Jean-Pierre said she encourages anyone questioning the response to contact the governor and local and state officials in Hawaii.

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