Hawaiians flip off Joe Biden as he arrives in the state following wildfire disaster
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Joe Biden was flipped off and booed as he arrived in Hawaii following the devastating wildfires.
Over the past two weeks, the island of Maui has been ravaged by flames, with at least 115 people losing their lives as a result. And President Joe Biden's apparent slow response led to an angry response from residents:
Biden arrived on the island yesterday (21 August) to asses the damage himself and offer support to the inhabitants.
However, his presence, some 13 days after the fires caught hold, has not gone down well with some locals.
In footage shared on social media, residents can be seen greeting Biden as his motorcade makes its way through the streets.
And rather than welcoming the POTUS, many can be seen flipping the bird while shouting: "Thanks for nothing."
Others are also heard screaming: "F**k you!"
Biden had remained on holiday with wife Jill when the fires first broke out on 8 August.
When addressing the situation, Biden told the press that he 'didn't want to get in the way'.
"My wife Jill and I are going to travel to Hawaii as soon as we can," he said. "That's what I've been talking to the governor about.
"I don't want to get in the way. I've been to too many disaster areas. But I want to go make sure we got everything they need. Want to be sure we don't disrupt the ongoing recovery efforts."
After arriving on Maui, Biden was seen standing next to a charred 150-year-old banyan tree.
He told the media: "Today it’s burned but it’s still standing. The tree survived for a reason. I believe it’s a very powerful symbol of what we can and will do to get through this crisis."
Kaniela Ing, a Democratic former member of Hawaii's state legislature, hit out at Biden for his apparent lack of response to the emergency.
He said: "I campaigned for you. Now, when I lose dozens of my friends, family, and neighbors - this?"
The White House confirmed this week that Bob Fenton, a regional leader at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, had been chosen as the chief federal response co-ordinator for the Maui wildfires.
His role will be to oversee the long-term recovery of the island.
“We’re going to rebuild the way the people of Maui want to rebuild,” Mr Biden said.
You can also donate to the American Red Cross, which helps provide food, medical supplies, shelter and water to those impacted. Find out about other ways to help here.