Trump and Biden show contrasting responses to wildfires

In+2007%2C+California+fires+destroyed+over+three-hundred+thousand+acres+and+now+that+amount+has+spread+to+other+states+and+destruction+totals+at+millions+of+acres.+Pictured+is+a+firefighter+during+the+Poomacha+fires+in+Northern+California.

FEMA Photo/Andrea Booher

In 2007, California fires destroyed over three-hundred thousand acres and now that amount has spread to other states and destruction totals at millions of acres. Pictured is a firefighter during the Poomacha fires in Northern California.

Avaerie Fitzgerald, COLLEGIAN MANAGING EDITOR

It is easy to get lost in politics, and with an election coming up it is important to know what is happening.

This year, candidates have been under more pressure to control their own reactions. With a lot of unexpected events happening, how a candidate reacts to troubling situations controls how people around them react to the same events.

COVID-19, mass protests against police brutality, violence in foreign countries, U.S. stock plunges and impeachment trials have made tremendous impacts on the country’s economics and politics.

More recently, wildfires have been dominating the news and trending on social media.

According to the Seattle Times, more than 1.5 million acres have been blackened by fires that are consuming the Pacific Northwest and down the West Coast hitting Washington, Oregon and California.

President Trump flew to California on Monday to be briefed on the wildfires.

“We want to thank all of the brave fighters, first responders, service members who are racing to the extreme peril of their lives and extreme danger,” Trump said in a press conference.

He stated all of the provisions he has gone through to support the fight of the fires, including an approved disaster declaration for California, which was released in August.

Trump also issued fire management assistance grants for all of the states that are being affected by the fires

After being briefed, Trump said that there are over 28,000 firefighters and first responders fighting the spread of the wildfires.

Over 230 soldiers are also fight- ing the largest fires, which are the August complex fires in California.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden said in a statement on Sept. 12, “The science is clear, and deadly signs like these are unmistakable — climate change pos- es an imminent, existential threat to our way of life.”

Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s running mate, appeared on NBC Sept. 12 and stated, “nobody should be playing political games with this.”

Harris went on to say that people in California, Washington and Oregon need resources on the ground as quickly as possible and it should not be about political gains and photo-ops.

It is clear that there is a dividing line of how the candidates are handling the news of the wildfires, and are pointing to two separate causes for the start of the burnings, like lack of clean-up in forests and climate change.

On Aug. 20 at a rally in Pennsylvania, Trump said,“They’re starting again in California. I said, you gotta clean your floors, you gotta clean your forests — there are many, many years of leaves and broken trees and they’re like, like, so flammable, you touch them and it goes up.” 

These statements are under close watch of all of those dealing with the fires first hand, and continue to shape how the candidates are viewed as the U.S. edges closer to voting day. 

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