Americans unhappy with Biden’s visit to St. Croix amid ‘death threat from nature’

Jow Biden

While Americans were left stranded over Christmas due to weather and Southwest Airlines breakdowns, President Joe Biden has jetted off to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands for a vacation.

The timing has critics irked.

The weekend storm has canceled more than 10,000 flights and proved deadly, causing more than 65 fatalities, including more than 34 in the Buffalo, New York, area alone. New York Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul called it a “war zone” in western New York and “the blizzard of the century.” Military police in Buffalo was called in and has instituted a driving ban.

“No matter where the president is, he is working,” the White House insisted.

But critics note the poor “optics.”

“The optics of this are horrible,” conservative pundit Michele Tafoya said Wednesday. “Not only is it a vacation, but it’s somewhere warm and beautiful while others are freezing, literally, to death.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was once criticized for taking his daughter on a trip to Cancun during the pandemic and a deadly winter storm in Texas that knocked out power. But he too pounced on Biden’s jet-setting to the Caribbean.

“Enjoy St. Croix. 🌴🍹🌞,” Cruz tweeted, which drew reminders of his past untimely jet-setting excursion.

Biden, first lady Jill Biden, daughter Ashley and her husband, Howard Krein, as well as grandchildren Natalie and Hunter, whose father was the president’s late son, Beau, are reportedly staying at the tropical island home of wealthy business owners Bill and Connie Neville. 

The Neville’s were attendees at Biden’s first White House state dinner (on the taxpayer’s dime), and now the Bidens are reportedly staying free at the Neville’s Virgin Islands home, according to the New York Post.

Hunter’s laptop and other evidence show Biden’s record of converting his public office into private gain,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told the Post. “So it is no surprise Biden is getting a free luxury vacation from a wealthy donor who ‘coincidentally’ received primo White House state dinner tickets.”

The home is listed on VRBO for a daily rate of $700 for guests and the listed boasts the Biden has stayed there “many” times, according to the report.

The Nevilles, who made their fortunes in a news company marketed by The Associated Press, gave more than $10,000 to Biden’s 2020 campaign and the Biden Victory Fund, according to Federal Election Commission.

Biden spent the holidays at his home in Delaware in 2020 and 2021, mostly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This week’s visit to St. Croix will be his first as president to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“We’re tremendously honored,” Del. Stacey Plaskett, a Democrat who represents the Virgin Islands in Congress, said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

“In the past, when he and his family have come, of course sightings of President Biden were almost a thing of legend,” she said.

Any sightings will now be altered by the fact that Biden is regarded as one of the world’s most powerful men. As such, he now travels with a significantly bigger footprint than when he was vice president, including a large contingent of U.S. Secret Service agents, White House staff, and journalists covering the trip.

Biden and his wife enjoy spending the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day in a warmer climate, and Jill Biden likes a beach, aides said.

“We always look forward to his coming and we really understand that this is a place of relaxation for him and Jill and whatever other family he may bring with him and so we leave him alone and let him just relax,” said Donna Christensen, who was Plaskett’s predecessor in Congress.

“He usually says, ‘In my next life, I’m living in St. Croix,'” she said in a telephone interview.

Both Plaskett and Christensen expressed hope that attention paid to where Biden spends his year-end vacation will amplify challenges facing the U.S. Virgin Islands and other U.S. territories, such as threats from climate change, including more powerful hurricanes and rising sea levels, as well as problems these governments have coping with aging infrastructure.

Biden was scheduled to return to Washington on Jan. 2. That is the day before the president’s Democratic Party cedes control of the House of Representatives to the Republican Party following the November midterm elections, potentially complicating Biden’s legislative agenda for the remaining two years of his term.