Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) faced backlash online after she criticized President Joe Biden for his response to the devastating wildfires in Hawaii.
“There is a total crisis in Maui,” she wrote on Saturday in her first tweet addressing the disaster. “3000 destroyed homes. 80 people dead. Where’s Joe Biden? On vacation of course. There is no bottom for this president.”
Biden spent the weekend at his Rehoboth Beach home in Delaware. He approved a major disaster declaration in Maui on Thursday and pledged that “every asset that we have will be available to” the people of Hawaii.
Aid from the disaster declaration “will get aid into the hands of people who desperately need help,” Biden said, promising that “anyone who’s lost a loved one or whose home has been damaged or destroyed is going to get help immediately.”
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell arrived on Maui over the weekend. Biden said he directed her to streamline requests for aid.
Vice President Kamala Harris said last week that she and Biden weren’t planning to visit the island because “we don’t want to distract from the resources that need to go in to the victims of this tragedy, and of course the needs of the first responders.”
Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D) said recovery efforts would be lengthy, “but we have the support from every level of government, especially given President Biden’s approval of our disaster declaration request today.”
The death toll from the disaster has climbed to 93 as authorities continue searching in the Lahaina community that was razed by a wildfire last week.
Boebert’s tweet attracted hundreds of critical responses from social media users.
Some noted that Biden had already mobilized support. Others accused Boebert of failing to do anything helpful herself, like providing information about ways to support those on Maui to her millions of followers.
A number of Hawaii residents chimed in.
Hawaii state Rep. Adrian Tam (D) slammed Boebert for failing to do “the bare minimum to help us like reposting a link for donations to the Maui Strong Fund,” as he encouraged supporters to donate to the aid fund.
Activist Delilah Asterales, who uses the handle @HawaiiDelilah, told Boebert: “Hawaii is my home. You don’t speak for me,” and pointed to the federal response on the ground in Lahaina. She accused Boebert of exploiting “the pain of us in Maui in order to attack Joe Biden.”
And user @GaryChun, whose bio lists his location as Honolulu, had his own message for Boebert and her House Republican colleagues: