President Joe Biden and his wife Jill are being slammed for heading off on a New Year’s vacation to the Virgin Islands while Americans across the nation suffer freezing temperatures that have reportedly left at least 70 people dead, prompting outrage on social media.
The Bidens’ destination, the Caribbean island of St. Croix, is currently seeing temperatures well above 80 degrees and hosted the couple in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The Bidens have visited the Caribbean every year since 2008, the Daily Mail noted. The president and first lady will leave on Tuesday before returning to Washington, D.C., on January 2.
“Joe and Jill are headed to sunny warm St. Croix, U.S., Virgin Islands for a little vacation, while people in Buffalo are freezing to death in their cars. He doesn’t give a s***!” one conservative critic fumed.
Other comments included, “Joe is in the warm Virgin Islands getting ready to celebrate New Year’s while Americans at home freeze to death,” “Buffalo citizens are freezing and dying while Joe Biden bikes in the Virgin Islands,” and “I remember a time when Presidents at least made an effort to feign compassion, leadership, sacrifice, etc. A time when optics mattered. Not this President. While half the country freezes, this a**hole runs off to the Virgin Islands.”
Every state in the continental United States saw temperatures drop below freezing over the weekend. In Buffalo, New York, at least 28 people died due to the freezing temperatures and massive snowfall.
Although hundreds of flights have been canceled across the nation because of the severe weather, the Bidens will be flying on Air Force One. Thousands of flights scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday were canceled by Southwest Airlines; by midday EST Tuesday, over 2,900 U.S. flights were canceled and another 2,400 others delayed, according to FlightAware.
Last Thursday, over 2,600 flights were canceled in the U.S., The New York Times reported.
In the first 589 days Biden served as president, he spent 234 days — roughly 40% — on vacation, the New York Post noted in August, with 70% of his vacation time spent at his homes in Delaware.
White House spokesman Andrew Bates defended Biden’s vacations, saying, “The presidency is a nonstop job that chief executives can do from anywhere in the world. Regardless of location, he has taken fewer vacation days than the modern norm. Being somewhere other than the White House is not the same thing as being on vacation.”