Biden Visits Maui, Taking One Day Break From Six-Day Vacation

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden will travel to Maui on Monday to spend less than a full day on the Hawaiian island before flying back to his vacation in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

The president is scheduled to depart for Maui at 8:40 a.m. PDT and is set to return to his $18 million property at 1:15 a.m. local time. He and first lady Jill Biden are expected to meet with “survivors, first responders and emergency personnel, and state and local officials” in the wake of the devastating wildfires, which have taken the lives of over 100 residents.

The president previously said he did not want to “disrupt” recovery efforts and was looking for an opportune time to visit the island.

The president faced criticism for remaining silent on the Maui fires for several days after their outbreak. Biden first spoke about the fires Aug. 10 at the top of his remarks and then said nothing until Aug. 13, when he said that he had “no comment” on the death toll and that he was “looking at” visiting the island. (RELATED: Biden ‘Looking At’ Visiting Maui While Planning Six-Day Mystery Trip To Nevada)

Biden then spoke about Hawaii on Tuesday at the beginning of his speech on “Bidenomics,” saying that he’s “got to” talk about the fires.

The White House has said Biden has been in contact with Hawaiian senators, the governor and other officials to stay updated about the situation on the ground.

TOPSHOT – A Mercy Worldwide volunteer makes damage assessment of charred apartment complex in the aftermath of a wildfire in Lahaina, western Maui, Hawaii on August 12, 2023. (Photo by Yuki IWAMURA / AFP) (Photo by YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden is renting a property in Lake Tahoe belonging to billionaire climate activist and Democratic megadonor Tom Steyer at “fair market value,” the White House said. Hunter Biden and other family members are also spending the week in Nevada with the president.

Earlier in August, Biden spent over a week on vacation at his Delaware residences. He spent nearly 40% of 2022 on vacation, either in Delaware or at Camp David.

The White House has maintained the president can work from anywhere, and doesn’t have to be in Washington, D.C.