Maui Wildfires’ Death Toll Reduced to 97 from 115 – “Thank God, Fewer People Passed Away,” Says Democrat Governor (VIDEO)
PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
Hawaii Governor Josh Green (D) announced on Friday that fewer people died in last month’s devastating Maui wildfires than initially reported. The death toll has been revised to 97 from 115, raising questions and skepticism about the government’s transparency and the actual number of casualties.
“Aloha, everyone. Here on day 38, I’m going to give you some updates on the number of fatalities. We’re now at 97. That number dropped a little bit because the Department of Defense and all of their physical anthropologists were able to help us discern better who was in cars or in houses,” said Governor Green in a video message shared on social media.
The Governor continued, “Thank God fewer people have passed away. We still have 31 open reports, and not all of those who are lost have been identified. We’re going to do what we can to house the 7,415 people that are currently in hotel rooms, move them into long-term rentals.”
09/15/23 Current Situation pic.twitter.com/iGnsgYxUak
— Governor Josh Green (@GovJoshGreenMD) September 15, 2023
The revised numbers have led to skepticism among the public, with many questioning the government’s handling of the crisis. The official death toll released by the government doesn’t align with the numbers reported from morgues.
“We look at body bags that come in and we do an initial inventory and we assess how many people are represented there,” Defense Department lab director John Byrd said Friday.
“When you do the first tally of all those that have come in, the number tends to be too high because as you begin to do more analysis and examination you realize that actually you’ve got two bags that were the same person or you have two bags that were the same two people but you didn’t realize that.”
“The numbers start a little too high on the morgue side and eventually settle until at some point it’s going to be a final accurate number,” Byrd continued. “I would say we’re not quite there yet.”
The Gateway Pundit reported last month that the Maui government released the first official list of confirmed missing that was compiled by the FBI, putting the number at 388. A strict criteria was required: First and last name of the missing and a verified contact number for the person filing a missing persons report. The list includes a name and case number for each individual, but not by age. It is thought that many children perished in the fire as they were kept home from school that day due to high winds from an offshore hurricane.
The statement by the Maui government also reports, “an additional 1,732 individuals who had originally been reported as unaccounted for have since been found safe and well.”
Previously, the number of missing was estimated to be between 850 and 1,100 people. TGP reported there is a huge gap in the number of students enrolled before and after the fire in the Lahaina public school system. 2,025 out of 3,001 students have not enrolled in public school alternatives since the fire. However, one private school has reported about 1,000 new applications since the fire.
O’Keefe Media Group went undercover in Maui this week to investigate the burn zone after wildfires ravaged the town of Lahaina. Their undercover team shared video footage of several officers asserting that the death count is higher than what has been officially reported. According to these officers, the victims are only being identified through DNA as they have been cremated due to the severity of the fires.
O’Keefe: “A lot of people died?”
Hawaii National Army Guardsman: “Good amount, yeah”
O’Keefe: “My buddy was saying that people are missing still.”
Hawaii National Army Guardsman: “Unaccounted for… That just means most of them, they got like cremated. Their bodies got cremated, so they’re dust. So it’s hard to get DNA off them.”
O’Keefe: “How many people do you think it is?… a thousand?”
Hawaii National Army Guardsman: Probably
O’KEEFE UNDERCOVER IN LAHAINA PART 1: Maui police and sheriffs tell Journalists Governor has prohibited photography on public land.
Hawaii National Guard says Maui police and Sheriffs are “assholes” who are “puffing chests”
OMG files lawsuit against Hawaii Gov to invalidate the… pic.twitter.com/jyS1Yiulpy
— James O’Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) September 15, 2023
The Gateway Pundit reported that Hawaii State Attorney General Anne E. Lopez has decided to withhold initial findings from the public regarding the massive Maui wildfires.
This move is purportedly to “protect the integrity” of the ongoing investigation, according to a statement from the Department of the Attorney General. The decision has raised concerns about the transparency of the investigation, as local residents question whether this “independent investigation” will indeed remain impartial.
“I am committed to an independent, unbiased, and transparent investigation into government actions during the fires. This type of investigation is a hallmark of a healthy democratic society and will lead to improved responsiveness and resilience in the future, ” Lopez told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
While the state Attorney General has promised transparency, questions about impartiality remain, given that Lopez’s office will have the final say on what information to release publicly—at least initially.