President Joe Biden’s six-day vacation on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe this weekend was cut short so he could visit Maui in the wake of deadly wildfires.
The president plans to travel Friday from Camp David in Maryland — where he is scheduled to meet with leaders from Japan and South Korea — to Lake Tahoe, according to the White House.
Biden was originally set to vacation in Lake Tahoe until next Thursday, but amid criticism from some that the president is vacationing instead of traveling to Hawaii, Biden announced he and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Maui on Monday to meet with survivors, first responders and officials.
Jill and I will travel to Maui on Monday, August 21 to meet with first responders, survivors, and federal, state, and local officials.
I remain committed to delivering everything the people of Hawai’i need as they recover from this disaster.
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 16, 2023
The White House said in a statement that Biden continues to marshal a “whole-of-government response” to the deadly fires that have killed more than 100 people. Biden has been in touch with the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as Hawaii’s senators and governor, the White House said.
It is unclear how much his vacation will be impacted by his trip to Maui, according to the White House.
The Nevada Republican Party criticized Biden for going on vacation while people in Maui suffer from the wildfires.
Biden had also faced scrutiny for not visiting East Palestine, Ohio, after a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed, leading to an evacuation of 5,000 residents and prompting a national debate about rail safety standards.
Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald said he is glad the president is coming to Lake Tahoe and Nevada, but he is also glad Biden is going to Hawaii.
“Hawaii needs all the help they can get right now,” McDonald said. “This isn’t about politics. This is about the people of Hawaii.”
When asked for a comment about Biden’s visit to Lake Tahoe, the chair of the Democratic Party of Washoe County, Carissa Snedeker, said she has not been advised of any events and does not know anything more than what has been released by the White House.
The president may not even make it to Tahoe, now that it’s been announced that he is going to Hawaii on Monday, she said.
“Presidential schedules are closely guarded and often change on a dime, so this is not surprising to me,” Snedeker said.