Miami, Sep 2 (EFE).- The President of the United States, Joe Biden, toured part of northwest Florida this Saturday, one of the areas most affected by the powerful Hurricane Idalia, and extended the promise that the federal government will maintain its support and will not abandon the victims “until the job is finished.”
“If there is something that your state needs, I am ready to mobilize that support,” Biden said from the town of Live Oak, in a message addressed to both Florida and the states of the southeastern United States, impacted by the passage of Idalia, which entered this state on Wednesday as a Category 3 hurricane and continued through Georgia and the Carolinas.
Shortly after his arrival in Florida, the president and his wife, first lady Jill Biden, conducted an aerial reconnaissance of the areas where Idalia had the greatest impact, and where work to restore power and collect debris continues to this day. debris.
The president was then informed by federal and state officials about the recovery tasks that have been undertaken, and heard testimonies from residents of this town who have seen their homes damaged or destroyed because of Idalia, today located on the Atlantic and converted into a post-tropical cyclone.
Biden expressed confidence that the US Congress will act to approve the additional 4 billion dollars (about 3,712 million euros) that the White House requested on Friday in order to deal with the recent natural disasters that have hit the country, including the fires in Hawaii and Hurricane Idalia.
“No one intelligent can deny the impact of the climate crisis anymore, just look around the nation and the world: historic floods, intense droughts, extreme heat, deadly forest fires,” the president said in a press conference held in front of a house severed by a fallen tree.
Biden took advantage of the meeting with the press to address the residents of Jacksonville, where a week ago three African-American people were shot to death by a young white man, who later took his own life, in what has been described as an attack racist terrorist.
“Hate will not prevail in the United States, racism will not prevail in the United States,” he said.
DESANTIS, THE ABSENT
During his visit to Florida, Biden was accompanied by Florida Senator Rick Scott, but not by the state governor, Ron DeSantis, who is competing in the Republican primaries to elect the candidate in the 2024 presidential elections and during his campaign has offered harsh criticism. to the Democrat, who will seek re-election.
Asked about this by journalists, Biden came forward and indicated that he was not “disappointed” by DeSantis’ absence (“he may have had a good reason”) and that both he and the Federal Disaster Management Agency (FEMA) , in English) have been in permanent coordination with the state government.
On Friday, Jeremy Redfern, a spokesman for DeSantis, said the governor was not planning to meet with the president, arguing that “in these rural communities, and so soon after the impact, the security preparations alone necessary to organize a meeting of this type would put an end to ongoing recovery efforts.”
In response to this, this Saturday both the White House spokesperson, Karine Jean-Pierre, and the FEMA administrator, Deanne Criswell, told the journalists who accompanied the president’s delegation that the Biden team remained in “close coordination” with DeSantis, as well as state and local officials, regarding the details of today’s visit.
Criswell added that search and rescue efforts have been completed, with the death toll of one person due to the hurricane, and that the priority now is restoring power, especially in counties like Suwannee, where Live Oak is located, and that Much of it remains dark.
The governor’s office reported today that 90% of homes and units impacted by the storm already have power and that there are currently 57,696 customers without supply and where workers are working. EFE