US President Joe Biden rebuked a man who interrupted his speech to call for greater climate protection during a speech on democracy. “If you keep your mouth shut, I will meet with you right after,” Biden said Thursday in Tempe, Arizona.
Biden was in Tempe to commemorate Senator John McCain, who died in 2018. A man interrupted him during his speech, asking Biden why he had not yet declared a climate emergency, “because hundreds of people in Arizona have already died.”
Biden asked the man to remain silent, but invited him for a conversation after the speech.
Arizona experiences extreme and prolonged heat. Local authorities in the capital, Phoenix, announced last week that at least 289 people had died this year as a direct result of successive stifling heat waves. This number may rise significantly as another 262 deaths from possible weather-related causes are currently being investigated.
“Democracy is in danger”
In his speech, the president warned that democracy was in danger. He referred several times to former President Donald Trump and extremist Republicans. “There is an extremist movement that does not share the core beliefs of our democracy: MAGA,” Biden said. Maga represents Trump’s campaign slogan: “Make America Great Again.”
The activist posted a video of the event on X, previously Twitter. “My conscience forced me to interrupt his speech today to ask him why he has not yet declared a climate emergency,” he wrote. The man said he would have liked to meet Biden, but the Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting the president, and police allegedly escorted him from the site.
The White House deemed a climate emergency last year when the so-called inflation cap law, which also includes sweeping climate protection measures, was temporarily suspended in the US Congress. Climate activists say the emergency law could serve as a legal basis to prevent oil and gas drilling, for example. (AP)
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