President Biden speaks in Surfside, Florida, the place an condo constructing collapsed final week (The White House)
President Biden pledged that the federal government will pay all costs for a minimum of the first month of the rescue effort in Surfside, Florida, the place an condo constructing collapsed final week.
“We’ve all been moving in tandem from the moment we got the news of the collapse of the building. And I think my colleagues will tell you we cut through the bureaucracy,” the president stated. “That’s why we’ve decided to cover, for example, 100 per cent of the search and rescue costs for the first 30 days.”
Mr Biden stated the “degree of cooperation” between federal, state, and native officers within the reduction effort has been “remarkable”.
“There’s no disagreement, no bickering,” he stated, thanking Florida’s governor and different officers. “Everybody’s on the same team. It’s what America’s all about.”
The president additionally had a message for the households affected by the catastrophe.
“Jill and I want them to know that we’re with them, and the country is with them,” he stated. “Our message today is that we’re here for you as one nation.”
The search for survivors is now in its eighth day. At least 18 persons are useless, and 145 are lacking. The effort is at present on pause attributable to considerations that the nonetheless-standing the rest of the constructing might collapse.
On Thursday, Mr Biden visited the neighborhood the place the catastrophe occurred, assembly with rescue staff and victims’ households. He additionally attended a briefing with state and native officers, the place he stated the federal government is ready to cover 100 per cent of the rescue effort’s costs.
“This is life and death,” the president stated on the briefing. “We can do it. Just the simple act of everyone doing what needs to be done makes a difference.”
The briefing was additionally attended by Florida governor Ron DeSantis, senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, Surfside congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Miami-Dade mayor Daniella Levine Cava, and different officers.
Mr Biden identified that the reduction effort is a bipartisan mission, which he underscored by motioning towards Mr DeSantis, a Republican carefully aligned with Donald Trump.
“You know what’s good about this?” he stated, patting Mr DeSantis’ hand. “It lets the nation know we can cooperate. That’s really important.”
The governor expressed his appreciation as effectively.
“We thank you for the support,” Mr DeSantis stated. “There’s been no bureaucracy. What we need now is we need a little bit of luck, a little bit of prayer.”
Later, Mr Biden spoke to some of the households affected by the catastrophe, seated at tables in a ballroom. In a hushed voice, the president supplied his sympathies.
“I just wish there was something I could do to ease the pain,” he stated. “The people you may have lost – they’re gonna be with you your whole life. A part of your soul, a part of who you are.”
After ending his remarks, he and first lady Jill Biden walked from desk to desk, chatting with a number of of the grieving households one-on-one.
Some of these current later expressed their appreciation.
“For him to take his time like he’s taking right now just walking around and talking to every single family, it’s just an amazing act and we appreciate it very much,” Erick de Moura, a resident at Champlain Towers who narrowly avoided the catastrophe, instructed The New York Times. “It’s comforting for us.”