Biden Tours Hurricane Ian Damage, Says DeSantis Has ‘Done a Good Job’

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
October 5USshare

President Joe Biden on Oct. 5 traveled to Florida, where he surveyed areas damaged by Hurricane Ian and met with Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Biden went on an aerial tour on a helicopter before going to Fisherman’s Wharf, where he met with DeSantis and other local, state, and federal officials.

Biden told reporters that DeSantis “has done a good job” handling the storm recovery. “What the governor has done is pretty remarkable,” he said.

“We worked hand in glove, we have very different political philosophies, but we worked hand in glove. And he’s been on top on things related to dealing with this crisis,” Biden also said. “We’ve been completely lockstep.”

Biden traveled to Florida with First Lady Jill Biden, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, and a bevy of assistants such as Kate Bedingfield.

DeSantis thanked them for coming and praised the federal government’s assistance.

“We were very fortunate to have good coordination with the White House and with FEMA from the very beginning of this,” DeSantis said, including Biden quickly approving a major disaster declaration, which provides federal aid to individuals affected by the hurricane.

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), Lee County Chairman Cecil Pendergrass, and first responders greeted the Bidens when they landed. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rick Scott (Fla.) were among the officials who met with the president during the trip.

Biden and DeSantis
President Joe Biden and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis meet with local residents impacted by Hurricane Ian at Fishermans Pass in Fort Myers, Fla., on Oct. 5, 2022. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

Nearly 4,000 federal employees are on the ground in Florida helping in the wake of the storm, along with tens of thousands of state and private workers.

Over 3,800 rescues have taken place and close to 100,000 structures have been searched, while pre-staged resources like water have been deployed, according to state and federal officials. Just 3 percent of the state is without power.

Still, the hurricane dealt “catastrophic” damage, with many homes still underwater, Criswell told reporters on Air Force One.

That prompted Biden to announce that federal disaster assistance would be available for 60 days to help with the recovery. The period of time was requested by the governor.

The cost to the government is projected to be billions of dollars.

“Today, we have one job, and only one job. And that’s to make sure that people in Florida get everything that they need to fully, thoroughly recover,” Biden said.

If DeSantis asks, the coverage time may be extended, Biden said.

The president also said he’s working on getting additional personnel to the state.

Biden and his wife were flying back to Washington on Wednesday evening, after meeting with small business owners and others impacted by Ian.

From The Epoch Times

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