President Joe Biden is facing criticism once again, this time for his demeanor during a community memorial service in Lahaina, Hawaii, held to honor those affected by the Maui wildfires. Here’s the full story.
The Memorial Event
The event took place on Monday, August 21, and was meant to pay respects to those impacted by the devastating wildfires that had swept through the region.
The incident occurred during Biden’s visit to Maui, where he and First Lady Jill Biden toured areas devastated by the wildfires that occurred on August 8.
He Was Met With Boos
The visit was already expected to be contentious due to the perceived lack of federal support for those affected by the wildfires. Upon arrival, Biden’s motorcade was met with boos, jeers, and even displays of Trump 2024 flags.
During the event, Biden sat listening while the speaker told of generosity among islanders.
People Help Each Other
“Like many others who were left with nothing, those two were given clothes, food, and shelter by someone they may have never met before,” the speaker said. While the speaker continued, Biden nodded and looked up.
Biden Closed His Eyes
A while later, Biden can be seen bowing his head and closing his eyes, which is a common gesture during moments of silence.
Was He Really Sleeping?
However, critics, especially from conservative circles, quickly seized upon the footage, accusing the 80-year-old President of falling asleep during the service.
Right-Wing Users Seized the Opportunity
Social media platforms were flooded with comments from right-wing users who criticized Biden for his alleged lack of respect.
Higher quality footage shows that Biden did not fall asleep. His eyes, which are open during the event in question, may appear closed in the lower-quality footage which is being shared by right-wing social media users.
Biden Is Useless
Some Twitter users labeled Biden as “A classless disaster,” while a second user wrote, “He is useless. Except in laundering money. It is the only thing he excels at.”
Comatose in Chief
Others referred to him as the “Comatose in Chief,” implying a lack of engagement or responsiveness.
Andy Ogles, a Republican congressman tweeted, “Imagine the President of the United States falling asleep while you’re describing the effects of the deadliest fire in the last 100 years.”
This Is Disgusting
“This is absolutely disgusting. Biden should resign from his post immediately,” he added.
People Can See What’s Happening
Troy Nehls, a Republican congressman representing Texas, also shared the video and wrote, “Everyone with eyes can draw their own conclusion about whether President Biden was nodding off in the video.”
The Recent Criticisms
This controversy adds to the recent wave of criticisms that have been directed at President Biden.
Just the week prior, he faced backlash for his perceived lack of response to the wildfires.
Biden Refused to Comment
Biden’s initial refusal to comment on the growing death toll attributed to the natural disaster drew significant public rage.
Journalist Justin Sink, who had previously supported Biden, expressed his disappointment in an exchange with the President, emphasizing the need for empathy during times of tragedy.
Sink later elaborated on his frustrations, noting that leaders should be prepared to offer comfort to those facing trauma, even amidst the demands of their role.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Chris Allan. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.