WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will go to Florida on Wednesday to survey the injury brought on by Hurricane Ian, his second storm-related journey this week.
The president, who can be accompanied by first woman Jill Biden, will journey to Fort Myers to “reaffirm his dedication to supporting the folks of Florida as they recuperate and rebuild from the devastating storm,” White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre instructed reporters.
Biden plans to satisfy with small-business house owners and residents affected by the hurricane, she mentioned. He’ll thank federal, state and native officers who’re working to revive energy, clear up particles and distribute meals and water, together with offering different lifesaving help.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis; Deanne Criswell, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Administration Company; and state and native officers may even present Biden with an operational briefing on the response and restoration efforts, Jean-Pierre mentioned.
Greater than 100 deaths have been blamed on Ian, which made landfall in southwest Florida as a Class 4 hurricane final Wednesday, bringing 150 mph winds and storm surges as excessive as 14 ft.
Biden mentioned Friday that Ian would probably be one the worst storms within the nation’s historical past and that it may take years to rebuild.
Hundreds of Floridians are in emergency shelters after their properties have been broken or destroyed, and 1000’s of persons are nonetheless with out energy.
Biden visited Puerto Rico on Monday, roughly two weeks after Hurricane Fiona made landfall, resulting in an islandwide energy outage and killing not less than 25 folks.
The Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted “above-average hurricane exercise” this 12 months — which might make it the seventh consecutive above-average 12 months — due to a number of climate-related components. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
Biden has publicly sparred with DeSantis, a Republican. Though the 2 have spoken on the telephone quite a lot of occasions for the reason that storm hit final week, Wednesday would be the first time they may have met in individual since tensions flared over immigration and abortion entry.
Most not too long ago, DeSantis has provoked the ire of Democrats by sending a aircraft of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Winery, Massachusetts, to make a press release in regards to the Biden administration’s immigration insurance policies. Biden has accused DeSantis of utilizing migrants as “props” for “political stunts.”
Requested Tuesday whether or not Biden would search for a chance to handle these points with DeSantis, Jean-Pierre mentioned: “There can be loads of time to debate variations between the president and the governor, however now is just not the time.
“We’re working as one,” she added.