Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images
President Biden landed in Florida on Thursday to visit privately with families whose loved ones were in the 12-story Champlain Towers South condo when it collapsed.
Biden also met with first responders to thank them for their rescue work. Search and rescue efforts paused on Thursday because of structural concerns. So far, 145 people are still unaccounted for while 18 people have been confirmed dead.
During a briefing with local and state officials, Biden said the federal government would pick up 100% of the costs associated with the response to the building collapse. I think I have the power and will know shortly to be able to pick up 100% of the costs of the county and the state. I’m quite sure I can do that,” Biden said.
Biden sat beside Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who thanked the president for his support, saying “we’ve had no bureaucracy” from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“You recognize in each individual unit, there’s an amazing story, and lives have been shattered irrevocably, as a result of this,” DeSantis said. “We have families with kids missing. And we even have young newlyweds who hadn’t even been married a year who were in the tower when it collapsed,” he said.
“What we just need now is we need a little bit of luck. We need a little bit of prayers. And you know, we would like to be able to, you know, to see some miracles happen,” DeSantis said.