Never mind the Kool-Aid, President Joe Biden would not even drink the water offered by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) after speaking in Maui Monday.
Biden visited the state struggling in the aftermath of catastrophic wildfires that claimed the lives of at least 114 individuals earlier this month.
His visit to the Aloha State followed widespread condemnation for responding to a reporter’s question who asked Biden while vacationing at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, about Maui’s rising death toll with “no comment.”
Biden’s nonchalant response was broadly criticized as appearing indifferent to the devastating challenges faced by Hawaiians affected by the wildfires.
After the president concluded his remarks during the press briefing, Schatz was overheard offering him a sip of water.
Biden seemed to hear the offer, which was transmitted to reporters through the podium microphone, according to a Fox News report. He walked away from the podium without acknowledging Schatz’s offer, the report noted.
The Fox report added that neither Schatz’s office nor the White House immediately responded to requests for further clarification on the incident.
Maui County and the Maui Police Department have confirmed the death toll as of Sunday while cautioning this number is expected to rise as investigations in the affected area continue.