Joe Biden’s $700 emergency aid payments to Maui called ‘insulting’

President Joe Biden announced plans to make one-time payments of up to $700 per household to residents displaced as a result of the devastating Maui fires. However, the aid package has been criticized, particularly given the aid shipments to Ukraine.

The Hawaiian wildfires that have devastated the island of Maui have caused a devastating level of death and destruction since they first erupted on August 8. The latest death toll is at least 106 and another 1,000 are reportedly still missing. These were the deadliest wildfires in the United States in more than a century. Outrage is growing over the US government’s response to the fires, which has been described as inadequate. Now President Joe Biden is facing renewed criticism after announcing his emergency aid plans.

Maui $700 Joe Biden Maui Fires
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Joe Biden unveils one-time payments for Maui households

President Biden initially faced criticism after he declined to comment on the devastation in Maui on Monday. However, during a speech Tuesday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Biden addressed the fires and revealed federal efforts to support disaster relief efforts during the tragedy.

“The deadliest wildfire in more than a hundred years,” Mr. Biden said on Tuesday. “An entire city destroyed. Generations of Hawaiian Native history have been ruined.”

The president also announced plans for “$700 one-time payments per household” for those who lost everything in the disaster.

“We are fully focused on providing assistance to survivors, including Critical Needs Assistance: a one-time payment of $700 per household offering relief at an unimaginably difficult time,” Biden wrote on Twitter.

He added, “We have staff on site dedicated to helping survivors navigate the registration process.”

Along with one-time payments of up to $700 per household for displaced residents, he said allegedly said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has so far approved 50,000 meals, 75,000 liters of water, 500 beds, 10,000 blankets and other supplies for survivors.

An aerial view of the devastation of Lahaina.
Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

$700 aid payments to Maui called ‘insulting’

A opinion The White House confirmed on Aug. 15 that the relief package was only available to Maui residents who had lost their homes and had urgent needs.

But with hundreds still missing, thousands homeless and the death toll continuing to mount, people are calling the $700 aid to Maui “insufficient” and “offensive.”

Many on social media compared the payments to the alleged $113 billion in aid the US has sent to Ukraine in the wake of the ongoing Russian invasion. A tweet highlighted that $700 for every 3,500 homes destroyed equates to about $2.5 million. An M1 Abrams tank reportedly costs $13 million, and the US government sent 31 of these tanks to Ukraine.

Mark Wlosinski, a financial commentator, tweeted, “Can someone please explain how our government can send hundreds of billions to other countries but choose to pinch pennies when our own people are in need?”

“That’s insulting…”

“They gave BILLIONS to Ukraine, but our own US citizens are getting $700,” someone wrote on Instagram.

“$700 is an insult, especially when you’ve donated millions to a war we’re not involved in. Come on.” These are American citizens who are suffering and have lost so much. “700 dollars is nothing”, added another.

‘What a joke! “The billions he gave to Ukraine and $700 is all that can be done for AMERICANS who have lost everything material AND lives,” said a third.

Joe and Jill Biden planning Hawaii visit ‘as soon as possible’

Biden also said he intends to travel at some point to view the damage on Maui with his wife, but isn’t ready to set a date.

“My wife Jill and I will be traveling to Hawaii as soon as possible. I spoke to the governor about that,” he said. “I don’t want to get in the way, I’ve been to too many disaster areas, but I want to make sure they get everything they need. I want to make sure we don’t disrupt ongoing recovery efforts.”

The post Joe Biden’s $700 emergency aid payments to Maui, which were deemed “offensive,” appeared first on HITC.

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Emma Bowman by emailing

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