Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis thanked President Joe Biden on Thursday for his immediate support of the state’s response to the deadly Surfside condominium tragedy.
DeSantis, briefing the president and other federal government officials during their Thursday trip to Surfside, said Biden “recognized the severity of this tragedy from day one.”
The governor noted that “you guys have not only been supportive at the federal level, but we’ve had no bureaucracy,” prompting Biden to promise, “There will be none.”
DeSantis thanked the federal government for supplying a new “search-and-rescue team from Virginia” to aid local first responders.
“This is the first response in Florida’s history outside of a hurricane where all of our urban search-and-rescue teams were mobilized,” he explained. “So, they’ve been going in and out of the rubble, searching, trying to find people, trying to rescue people, at a minimum trying to identify anyone who may be deceased to bring closure to the families, which is very important, but they’re tired. … This is grueling.”
Following the briefing with local officials, Biden and first lady Jill Biden will spend more than three hours meeting and consoling grieving families.
The meetings will be closed to the press. The president often publicly discusses his own tragic family history but frequently keeps such meetings with grieving families private, and he touched on the difficulties of losing loved ones during his first reaction to the Surfside incident last week.
“There’s nothing worse than having to wait and wonder what happened,” he said during remarks at the White House. “It’s a tough, tough time. There’s so many people waiting. ‘Are they alive? Will they be — what will happen?’ And so our heart goes out to them.”
The briefing was the first time since Biden took office that he had been face-to-face with DeSantis, who has done little to quell speculation about his 2024 White House ambitions. In fact, the Florida governor has bested former President Donald Trump in one state’s straw poll of Republicans about the next White House race.
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Original Author: Christian Datoc