President Joe Biden is continuing his nine-day vacation in Lake Tahoe amidst controversy surrounding his rental of a $18 million home owned by billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer. After a long haul day trip to Maui to meet with wildfire victims, the president is facing backlash for comments he made on the matter while vacationing at his Delaware beach house.
The White House listed no public events on Biden’s Tuesday schedule, likely in an effort to keep the president out of public view at his secluded vacation rental. After making an early morning arrival back in Nevada, pool reporters who had traveled with the president to Hawaii peeled off from the president’s motorcade
The president’s trip to Hawaii was meant to show the federal government’s commitment to those who have been affected by wildfires that turned much of historic Lahaina to ashes. However, Biden made meandering and ill-advised remarks on the matter and also mangled the name of Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz – accidentally pronouncing it like ‘Schantz’.
The comments, which Bishop called a “tasteless deviation from a moment of great significance to many” undoubtedly drew ire and overshadowed the visit that was intended to exemplify the federal government’s commitment to those affected by devastating fires. Biden even invoked the death of his wife Neila and daughter Naomi, an anecdote he has been known to tell at times of tragedy.
The president was also heard making an odd joke about ‘hot ground’ in regard to the thick boots of a rescue dog named Dexter. Many have already dismissed the comment as a lack of tact and a poor attempt at lightening the mood.
As the president continues to enjoy his vacation in Lake Tahoe, states in the Southwest like Nevada are now facing flash flood warnings as tropical storm Hilary brings record-breaking rainfall and flooding to the Mojave Desert. Tens of thousands of people have since found themselves without power.
The Mojave has seen flooding of this level only a few times in recent history, leading officials to worry about the viability of previously dry regions and coastal towns. It is unclear how much longer Biden will extend his vacation in Lake Tahoe but he will likely face greater scrutiny following his trip to Maui and now the harsh weather that is affecting those in his home state of Nevada.