President Joe Biden & Wife Heads To Florida As Condo Collapse Death Toll Rises To 18
United States President; Joe Biden and and First Lady; Jill Biden, will travel to Surfside, Florida to meet with rescue teams, families whose love ones are affected by the collapsed building.
Joe Biden is expected to offer condolences to the families of those killed and missing as casualties mount.
The 12-story Champlain Towers South, just outside of Miami, collapsed at around 1:30 a.m. last Thursday. So far 18 people have been confirmed dead and 145 people are still unaccounted for.
Joe Biden, whose personal experience with the tragedy has been a hallmark of his political career, will reprise the role of “consular-in-chief” on Thursday while rescue teams continue to search for victims in the high-floor rubble, inside fell down. A week ago when the residents slept.
Miami-Dade County Daniela Levin Cava said the death toll rose to 18 on Wednesday with the discovery of six more bodies in the ruins of the Champlain Towers South condo, including the remains of two children aged 4 and 10. Another 145 people are missing and are feared trapped under the rubble.
No one has been pulled alive from mounds of pulverized concrete, shattered wood and bent metal since the early hours of the disaster in the seaside town of Surfside, adjacent to Miami Beach.
Officials have expressed hope that more survivors may be found, but the chances of further rescue have dwindled by the hour.
Thursday’s visit is the second time he has visited the scene of the disaster since Biden became president.
In February, after a powerful winter storm caused severe damage to homes and businesses, he traveled to Texas, leaving millions without electricity or clean water for days and killing at least 24.
Joe Biden, who delayed his trip to Florida to avoid hindering rescue efforts, issued an emergency declaration and federal aid to help state and local officials respond to the collapse.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the US Army Corps of Engineers have deployed teams to assist with search and rescue, incident management and debris removal.
FEMA has also coordinated with state and local officials to open Family Support Centers and provide communication support.
Joe Biden, a Democrat, will likely appear alongside Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, who is seen as a potential top-tier candidate to challenge Biden’s re-election in three years. DeSantis has seized power in Florida politics and built a brand as a sharp partisan, often challenging Biden on issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and immigration.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden plans to use the visit to express his thanks to “the heroic first responders, search-and-rescue teams, and everyone working round-the-clock.”
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Saki said the president and the First Lady will also meet “the families who have been forced to endure this terrible tragedy.”
Biden’s gift for connecting his difficulties to the suffering and suffering of others has become a defining feature of his personality. He has endured the death of his first wife, a daughter and a son during his years in public life.
The governor and president spoke by telephone last week, and DeSantis praised Biden for his support after the conversation.
Investigators have not concluded what caused nearly half of the 40-year-old condo complex, one of the deadliest building collapses in American history.
But a 2018 report prepared by engineering firm Morabito Consultants ahead of the building safety recertification process found st the 12-floor, 136-unit complex, which are now the focus of inquiry.