‘There Is No Power’: CNN Host Confronts KJP After She Urges Maui Residents To Register For Help Online

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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CNN’s Sara Sidner confronted White House press sec. Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday after she encouraged victims of the devastating Maui wildfires to use FEMA’s website and telephone line to get assistance despite limited access.

More than 100 people are dead following the wildfires, with searches ongoing throughout the Lahaina region of Maui for survivors. The death toll is expected to rise. Biden has come under fire after he was spotted at the beach in Delaware, riding his bicycle and telling reporters he was “looking at” making a trip to Maui.

Jean-Pierre touted Biden’s response amid a flurry of criticism, saying Biden has enlisted federal and local partners to provide assistance.

“This is something that the president takes very seriously. You’ve heard from the FEMA administrator there’s more than 600 personnel, and staffers on the ground. They’ve already provided $2.3 million of family assistance. And for those in Maui, in Hawaii, who are still looking to get that federal assistance, please go, call 800-621-FEMA. Go to We are here to help, the federal government is here to assist, to make sure they get everything that they need to rebuild and recover.”


“Karine I do want to ask you about that because FEMA was on the ground, they have been criticized in past disasters for not getting there quickly enough. But in this case, they were on the ground quickly. I do want to ask you, though, you talk about people having to call that number, they have to register, as we understand it. Call the number, go to the website. But here is the big problem we’re hearing on the ground, there is no power, they are having very spotty cell service, it’s very difficult to communicate, and they are restricted in their movement,” Sidner reported.

“So what can FEMA do better to help alleviate some of these issues for people who are saying we are not getting the help we need?” (RELATED: CNN Host Confronts KJP Over Biden’s Response To Maui Disaster)

“Our job and FEMA, the administrator has spoken to this, and unfortunately she and her team have had to deal with many disasters over the past two years, as we’re dealing with extreme weather. They are on the ground, they are doing everything that they can,” Jean-Pierre said.

Obviously this is a dynamic situation, as you’ve heard directly from the administrator. We’re working with the cell companies to try to make sure that communication happens. I mentioned that FEMA has already provided and given $2.3 million of family assistance, so it’s getting out there. Our job, and she has said this as well, and the federal government personnel job is to make sure that we communicate that, that we get that to the folks on the ground, and we will be there,” she continued.

Jean-Pierre announced Wednesday Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Maui on Monday to meet with first responders, survivors and other authorities.