As the southern coast of the United States is being ravaged by Hurricane Ida, US President Joe Biden arrived at a Sunday meeting of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deliver remarks on the major storm.
Having finished his speech at a Sunday FEMA meeting on the disastrous Hurricane Ida, Joe Biden initiated a little off-script action, offering reporters who were willing to ask questions to “go ahead” even though he was “not supposed to take any questions”.
However, the mood for taking questions swiftly disappeared after the first one appeared to be about Afghanistan.
“I’m not going to answer on Afghanistan now”, Biden snapped, slapping his hand on the desk and immediately deciding to head out.
The president had trouble finding the right direction to go and was assisted by an aide. The combination of his revelation that he was not “supposed” to do something, his refusal to take Afghanistan-related questions, along with the desk slap and the immediate departure caused some confusion and bewilderment.
“I’m not suppose to take any questions….” What?!!! Isn’t he POTUS??! He clearly is not in charge.
— Laura Cocciadiferro (@lmb4lc_laura) August 29, 2021
I guess his boss told him he can’t take questions.
— Homo Sapien with no name… (@3vil3ddie666) August 29, 2021
And looks lost when he does turn around! WT? pic.twitter.com/kfXUIWpvNW
— Grace Vasquez (@itsYourGrace) August 29, 2021
Opinions, as always, were divided on Twitter, with some lashing out at the president for refusing to speak about Afghanistan after he himself initiated the questions, and others saying that his rejection was reasonable since the meeting was dedicated to the hurricane-related crisis.
America first. We got a damn storm coming and now yall are worried about Afghanistan.
— Sharky guns ✌🏼 (@jram305) August 29, 2021
Presidents don’t get to decide to have only 1 crisis at a time. Can’t he multitask?
— cellen48 (@cellen48) August 29, 2021
Does Hurricane Ida care what the President has to say? He’s the President, which means he should be able to handle tge pressure of multiple world events currently happening.
Prayers to everyone in Ida’s path. Be smart, be safe.
— Gandalf Graymatter (@GGraymatter) August 29, 2021
I mean, he has a point— he is at FEMA while one of the strongest storms to ever make landfall in the US is walloping Louisiana right. The loss of our soldiers in Afghanistan is devastating, but the gulf coast is ALSO CURRENTLY facing devastation.
— Nicole Moore (@ncrmoore) August 29, 2021
Biden delivered his FEMA remarks as Hurricane Ida continues to shatter the Gulf Coast, particularly leaving New Orleans with a reported 100% power outage and flood warnings, and leaving hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents without power.
The situation in Kabul adds troubles for the president as well, with the Afghan capital city seeing several deadly suicide bombings on Thursday that killed 13 US soldiers and at least 169 Afghan civilians.
Amid the looming 31 August deadline for the foreign troop withdrawal from the country, the US is struggling to finish the ongoing evacuation and conducting airstrikes against Daesh*, who claimed responsibility for Thursday’s suicide bombings. The latest American retaliatory strike, however, reportedly left 9 civilians dead, including 6 kids.