Biden to Meet DeSantis in Florida as He Surveys Hurricane Ian Damage

President Joe Biden will meet with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during his visit to the state aftermath of hurricane Ian.

Biden and First Lady Jill Biden landed just after 12:30 p.m. in Florida, where they will visit Fort Myers, one of the most severely damaged areas in the state. There Biden will meet the Republican governor, often a political adversary, like him and the first lady Jill Biden Rate Ian stormthe damage. Fort Myers.

Biden will also meet with small business owners and local residents affected by the historic storm, according to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and thank officials who are providing lifesaving assistance, working to restore the running and clearing debris.

“Governor DeSantis, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, and other state and local officials will also provide the president with an operational brief on current response and recovery efforts,” Jean-Pierre told reporters.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks alongside First Lady Jill Biden at the Port of Ponce, Puerto Rico on October 3, 2022.

Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

Gagging on Air Force One on Wednesday, Jean-Pierre said throughout the day that Biden would be joined by Republican Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, GOP Representative Byron Daniels and Lee County Chairman Cecil Pendergrass and Mayor of Fort Myers Ray Murphy.

Ahead of the visit, the White House said Biden would announce he was doubling the length of time the federal government will cover all costs associated with search and rescue, debris removal, sheltering and to other emergency measures from 30 days to 60 days.

Governor Desantis requested the extension of the aid last week.

Jean-Pierre swerved when asked if DeSantis would join Biden for public remarks, saying the governor had a “busy schedule” and she couldn’t talk about “where he’s going to be at every stage of the path”.

Wednesday’s visit will be the first face-to-face meeting between Biden and DeSantis since the governor ordered migrants to fly from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, which Jean-Pierre went on to call a “political stunt.”

“Obviously the president has expressed concern and outrage at the stunt,” she said, adding, “There will be plenty of time to discuss the differences between the president and the governor, but now is not the time”.

Biden and DeSantis have put politics aside momentarily to respond to Hurricane Ian, which is shaping up to be one of Florida’s deadliest and costliest storms in decades. Landing as a Category 4 storm, Ian flattened the coast knocking out power to millions. At least 100 people died from the storm.

PHOTO: President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are greeted as they arrive at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Florida on Oct. 5, 2022, to inspect storm-damaged areas and meet with small business owners and state officials.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are greeted upon arrival at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Florida on October 5, 2022, to inspect storm-ravaged areas and meet with small business owners and government officials.

Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Biden and DeSantis executives spoke repeatedly before and after the storm as Biden issued emergency statements. On Saturday, Biden signed a major disaster declaration for the state, which makes more funds available to help Florida’s recovery.

“As I have made clear: In times like these, our nation comes together, puts aside our political differences, and gets to work,” Biden said Monday as he spoke about his upcoming trip. “We show up when we need us. Because if we lose our home, if we lose a loved one, we hope people will show up for us as well.”

DeSantis said he appreciated “FEMA’s responsiveness to this disaster” and thanked the Biden administration for its declarations of urgency.

The trip to Florida comes just days after Biden visited Puerto Rico, which was hit by Hurricane Fiona last month.

The Category 1 storm hit the island on September 18, knocking out power for most residents in the US territory and killing at least 13 people. At the time of Biden’s visit, more than two weeks after the storm, more than 100,000 people were still without power.

While visiting Port of Ponce in southern Puerto Rico, Biden announced more than $60 million in federal funding to help the island better prepare for extreme weather events in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona.

“Puerto Rico is a strong place and Puerto Ricans are strong people,” Biden said as he spoke at Port de Ponce. “But even so, you had to put up with so much and more than necessary, and you didn’t get timely help.”

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