President Joe Biden traveled to Miami, Florida to appear with Gov. Ron DeSantis and local officials on Thursday to signal support after the disastrous Surfside condo collapse.
“Again, this is your show, we just want to make sure that whatever you need, including… anyway, I’m talking too much…” Biden said in his opening statement before turning the rescue and recovery efforts briefing over to local officials for comment.
DeSantis and his wife Casey appeared at the briefing sitting beside Biden on his right.
“You know what’s good about this?” Biden asked DeSantis. “We live in a nation where we can cooperate when it’s really important. … Come together. This is life and death.”
Biden praised both Republican and Democrat officials for working together in a time of crisis.
“I just got back from twelve days in Europe, they wonder whether we can do this. And you’re doing it,” he said. “Just the simple act of everybody doing whatever needs to be done, it really makes a difference.”
DeSantis thanked Biden for offering federal assistance in the rescue efforts.
“You recognized the severity of this tragedy from day one and you’ve been very supportive,” he said to Biden, noting that there was “no bureaucracy” in dealing with federal emergency officials.
“I promise you there will be none,” Biden replied.
Biden’s visit took place hours after the rescue work was paused early Thursday morning, as officials cited concerns with the stability of the remaining portion of the condo building.
“We’re doing everything we can to ensure that the safety of our first responders is paramount and continue our search and rescue operation as soon as it is safe to do so,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during a press conference on Thursday.
The death toll is now at 18 with 145 people still unaccounted for.
DeSantis said that rescue crews would not stop searching for survivors and recovering remains of the dead to offer families closure.
“What we just need now is, we need a little bit of luck, we need a little bit of prayers and we would like to see some miracles happen,” he said.
The president also met with first responders to the crisis in a hotel and thanked them for their efforts.
“I just wanted to say thank you,” Biden said. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
Biden recalled his long history of personal tragedy and health issues, noting that there were always police, firefighters, and emergency officials to help him and his family.
“I just want you to know. We understand. Anybody who’s ever needed you, they understand. What you’re doing now is hard as hell,” Biden said.
He also urged them to be careful in their recovery efforts.
“I promise you. We know. What you’re doing here is incredible,” Biden said. “Having to deal with the uncertainly, worrying about your families. I…Anyway. Thank you.”
"The job you’re doing is incredible."
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 1, 2021