President Joe Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis toured damage from Hurricane Ian on Wednesday afternoon and announced their intention to work together to help the state rebuild.
Speaking at a press conference in Fort Myers, Biden said that natural disasters are becoming more common around the country, and that climate changed played a significant role.
He also announced new relief efforts to help Florida residents and businesses rebuild, like faster processing of low-interest disaster loans.
“Today, we have one job and only one job. That is to make sure the people of Florida get everything they need to fully recover,” Biden said.
DeSantis discussed the state’s cooperative efforts with the White House, noting that federal funds have been allocated to help his state recover from the massive, Category 4 storm.
“We were very fortunate to have good coordination with the White House and FEMA from the very beginning of this,” DeSantis said.
Biden also said that while it would likely take years to rebuild, he believes that Florida residents will prosper in the long run.
“We are the only nation where we come out stronger from disasters,” Biden said.
The president’s visit comes amid a rising death toll. According to figures released Monday by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission, 72 deaths have been attributed to the storm, though that number could climb.
Biden’s visit Wednesday came two days after he traveled to Puerto Rico to survey Hurricane Fiona’s damage. In the wake of that storm, he announced he was sending tens of millions of dollars to help prepare the island for storms.
“Today, I’m announcing more than $60 million in funding to help coastal areas of Puerto Rico become better prepared for the storm,” Biden said Monday while speaking in front of FEMA stockpiles of generators that were set to be deployed to provide electricity to people on the island who still are without power.
BIDEN: "I think the one thing this has finally ended is the discussion about whether not there's climate change, and we should do something about it." pic.twitter.com/8mj2nLUisU
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