Biden in Surfside: We’ll ‘pick up 100% of the cost’
A week after the Champlain Towers South condo building came crashing down, President Joe Biden is visiting South Florida, where he pledged federal financial assistance to the Surfside rescue and recovery efforts.
“I have the power and will announce shortly that we’ll be able to pick up 100% of the cost from the county and the state over the first 30 days,” Biden said at a command briefing Thursday morning, flanked by Gov. Ron DeSantis and Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “I think I’m quite sure I can do that.”
Levine Cava and DeSantis thanked Biden for the support, with the Republican governor telling the Democratic president: “You recognized the severity of this tragedy from day one and you’ve been very supportive.”
Biden praised the bipartisan collaboration over the past week. “We live in a nation where we can cooperate,” he said. “It’s really important.”
Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio were across the table from them, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was also among the group at the briefing at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort.
“We’re not going anywhere,” Biden said to the assembled state and local leaders. “Tell me what you need.”
Just before noon, Biden met with a group of first responders.
“What you’re doing here is incredible,” he told them.
Biden will then meet with families impacted by the condo collapse.
Air Force One touched down at Miami International Airport just before 9:30 a.m. The president is joined on the trip by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.
President Biden is scheduled to make remarks from the St. Regis shortly before 4 p.m. and then departs South Florida shortly after that.
The White House and local leaders have said that the presidential visit will not detract resources from the search and rescue efforts at the collapse site.
But one family missing relatives in the rubble told Local 10 News that they wish the president wasn’t coming.
Rescue efforts did pause Thursday morning due to safety concerns relating to the part of the tower that is still standing.
Check back for updates on Biden’s visit, plus a live stream when the president makes his public remarks.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive at Miami International Airport on Thursday, July 1, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (Susan Walsh/)Read More