As the historic city of Lahaina lay in ruins and more than 100 people are confirmed dead on the island of Maui, former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, told Fox News the residents she’s spoken with say government response at all levels is insufficient.
Gabbard, a Fox News contributor who left the Democratic Party over its “elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness,” told “The Ingraham Angle” on Wednesday that the tragic loss in her state is difficult to put into words.
“We’re continuing to see and experience and feel every time there are more and more names and numbers of our friends and neighbors in Lahaina who have perished because of this wildfire, and there’s still over a thousand people who are missing,” she said.
North of Lahaina, residents were left for days without electricity or telecomms and were warned their water was no longer potable. Gabbard said that led to parents having to bathe their children with bottled water and at times rely on supply donations to survive.
“They are still not seeing response from the county, the state, the federal government to be able to go out and help them,” she said. “The community-support hubs that they have are 100% community-led, volunteer supply collections conducting all of these coordinations on their own.”
The veteran and former lawmaker added that Mauians feel “like the government doesn’t care about them — and that’s a horrible, horrible disservice to people who have gone through a kind of loss that we can’t even imagine.”
Gabbard’s remarks came days after President Biden was asked by reporters for a response to the deadly wildfires while he was vacationing in Delaware.
“No. No comment,” Biden said Sunday, when confronted at his beach house.
A White House spokesperson later pushed back on criticism, telling Fox News Digital the administration has been efforting a “whole-of-government” response to the catastrophe to support “immediate long-term rescue and recovery efforts.”
On Tuesday, Biden said he has been in communication with Hawaii Democratic Gov. Josh Green about disaster relief as well as plans for a visit consisting of himself and first lady Jill Biden “as soon as we can.”
Of the federal response thus far, Gabbard criticized a FEMA pledge of a one-time payment for affected Hawaiians.
“This is a crisis that is continuing on,” she said. “It is not at all lost on the people of West Maui when they’re told that FEMA is going to give those impacted a one-time $700 payment.”
In a press release from Aug. 9, Green’s office noted he returned from personal travel immediately upon the fire outbreak and that he mobilized the state’s “entire emergency response team, including the Hawaii National Guard.”
“The wind-fueled fires have devastated many of our communities and people will be looking to our office for leadership while we address the ongoing emergency and do what we can as a state to rebuild lives,” Green said in the statement.
In another statement Wednesday, Green’s office said the Bidens will now visit the state on Aug. 21.
For more Culture, Media, Education, Opinion, and channel coverage, visit foxnews.com/media.