Biden visits Florida condo collapse, families

President Biden on Thursday mentioned that relations of people that died or are lacking in the collapse of a condo building in Surfside, Florida, instructed him that world warming may be accountable.

“Interesting to me — I didn’t raise it — but how many of the survivors and how many families talked about the impact of global warming,” Biden mentioned after spending practically three hours with the kin of people that died or are lacking.

“They didn’t know exactly, but they talked about sea levels rising and about how — and the combination of that and the concern about incoming tropical storms,” he mentioned.

Although there are experiences that the constructing’s concrete was in need of repair, some Democrats say these flaws could have been the results of or worsened by world warming.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm mentioned Tuesday that local weather change could have doomed the beachfront constructing. “Obviously, we don’t know fully, but we do know that the seas are rising. We know that we’re losing inches and inches of beaches, not just in Florida but all around,” she mentioned.

Some conservatives blasted Granholm, saying that she was flirting with conclusions for political causes, together with to push for funding in Biden’s infrastructure plan that will enhance infrastructure resilience to excessive climate.

Biden emphasised that he isn’t certain what precipitated the constructing collapse.

US President Joe Biden (L) and US First Lady Jill Biden visit a photo wall, the 'Surfside Wall of Hope & Memorial', near the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Florida, July 1, 2021. - President Joe Biden flew to Florida on July 1 to "comfort" families of people killed or still missing in the rubble of a beachfront apartment building, where hopes of finding survivors had all but evaporated. Biden and First Lady Jill Biden left the White House early for the flight to Miami, and then traveled by motorcade to nearby Surfside, where the death toll in the tragedy now stands at 18, and more than 140 still unaccounted for. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
President Joe Biden and first woman Jill Biden go to the Surfside Wall of Hope & Memorial on July 1, 2021.
AFP by way of Getty Images

“I don’t think there is at this point any definitive judgment as to why it collapsed and what can be done to prevent it from happening and what other buildings may have to be inspected to determine if they have the same problems,” Biden mentioned.

Biden visited the catastrophe zone on the eighth day of rescue operations. So far, 18 bodies have been recovered from the rubble and 145 individuals stay lacking. Nobody has been rescued since final Thursday.

Biden additionally mentioned that the families are “realistic” in regards to the chance of discovering survivors greater than per week after the collapse, however added that “hope springs eternal” with the rescue mission.

“I want to compliment FEMA and I might add all those folks who are risking their lives to save lives, but also holding out hope that those will be fine. Hope springs eternal,” he mentioned.

Biden added later of the families: “They’re all realists. They all look and they see those floors, just literally cement upon cement upon cement.”

Rescue efforts had been paused Thursday because of what authorities mentioned had been security considerations.

“The whole nation is mourning with these families. They see it every day on television. They’re going through hell,” Biden mentioned.

Biden mentioned that assembly with the families reminded him of the aftermath of the 1972 automobile crash that killed his first spouse and daughter, however not his two sons.

“It just brought back so many, so many memories. It is bad enough — it’s bad enough to lose somebody. The hard part, the really hard part is to not know whether they are surviving or not, just not having any idea,” Biden mentioned.

“The accident that took my wife and my family, the hardest part was, ‘Were my boys going to get out? Are they going to make it?’ Not knowing, not knowing when you’re flying home from Washington to get the news.”

Kevin Spiegel, whose spouse Judith is lacking, instructed The Post that “I thought [Biden] did a good job” in his talks with families.

“The whole nation is mourning with these families. They see it every day on television. They’re going through hell.”

President Joe Biden

“He was well received, both by Democrats and Republicans,” Spiegel mentioned. “He took time and he met with family members. He was not familiar with the rescue operation. He just was explaining stories about his own personal experiences with tragedy, and how he was relating to what happened here.”

Louisiana resident Ashley Dean, whose sister Cassie Stratton remains to be lacking, didn’t meet with Biden, however instructed The Post, “I just hope him being down there isn’t hampering any of the efforts. I appreciate him going down there. I just don’t want anything to get in the way of the search and recovery efforts.”

Cava mentioned at a Thursday morning press convention that Biden’s go to would don’t have any operational impression on the seek for potential survivors.

Biden was joined by first woman Jill Biden and a various group of elected officers who additionally met with the families.

The group included Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez (R-Fla.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, a Democrat.

Biden “stayed until everyone had a chance to speak with him,” the White House mentioned. The conferences started at 12:26 pm and concluded by 3:12 pm.

Earlier, round midday, Biden thanked police and emergency personnel who’re sifting by means of particles for our bodies and victims, telling them the work was “hard as hell,” however that “I truly appreciate what you do.”

Although the nonpartisan nature of the rescue operation was obvious, Biden framed it as something “good” to emerge the catastrophe throughout a morning briefing with native officers.

“We’re letting the nation know we can cooperate — and when it’s really important,” Biden mentioned.

At that briefing, DeSantis — a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2024 — thanked Biden for what he mentioned was an environment friendly federal response.

“You guys have not only been supportive at the federal level, but we’ve had no bureaucracy,” DeSantis instructed Biden. “When we’re dealing with FEMA, we’re literally getting requests routed from local to state to federal in no time and the approval is happening.”

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