Right now, President Donald Trump is trying to cope with revelations that he deliberately downplayed the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now killed more than 191,000 Americans. These efforts seem to have left little room for the dozen of fires currently devastating California, Oregon, and Washington on his mental plate.
At a press conference Thursday, Trump failed to address the fires, nor did the White House press corps prompt him. While the president signed a Declaration of Disaster for California back in August, he has yet to do so for Oregon, which is in a disaster that could result in "the greatest loss of life and property to forest fires in the history of our state", " So Governor Kate Brown.
Trump is known for blaming states' poor forest management for the annual flames in the West and for threatening to withhold federal funding. At a rally in Pennsylvania in August, Trump said, "They're starting again in California. I said you have to clean your floors, you have to clean your forests – there are many, many years of leaves and broken trees and they're so flammable you have to touch it and it rises. "According to CNN, this will be the last time he will deal with the fires. The last time he tweeted about forest fires was on August 6th.
As the slate author Mark Joseph Stern pointed out on Twitter, focusing on an environmental crisis in the West does not make political sense for a president who is preoccupied with re-election and little else. "Electoral College allows – encouraged – Trump to ignore the California forest fire crisis because he knows he cannot win the state," he wrote. "He doesn't even pretend to rule the whole country, just red states and swing states. Those who suffer in blue states mean nothing to him."
Speaking of the fires on Fox News that morning, Vice President Mike Pence said, “My daughter and son-in-law live in California. Our hearts go out to everyone affected or threatened by these fires and I want to assure everyone that we will ensure that these brave firefighters, homeowners and businesses have the full support of the federal government. "In a statement calling western states" neighbors ", the White House claims that Trump is" closely monitoring "the situation.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his vice presidency, California Senator Kamala Harris, have both commented on the "dire" situation and urged residents of the affected states to heed security warnings from local authorities.
The pictures from California, Oregon, Washington and other western states are really terrible. If you are in an affected area please heed the warnings from your local authorities and stay safe. Jill and I keep you all in our prayers. https://t.co/39vcORJEBX
– Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 10, 2020
As California Governor Gavin Newsom pointed out on Twitter, 2020 saw six of the largest forest fires in the state's history. In California alone 3.1 million acres were burned that year.
RELATED: Stunning Photos of Forest Fires Across California
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