President Biden and first lady Jill Biden traveled to Surfside, Florida, on Thursday to console families who lost loved ones in the deadly collapse of a condo building, to meet with first responders and to confer with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis about the week-old recovery operation.
White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the Bidens “will meet with the families who have been forced to endure this terrible tragedy, and offer them comfort during this unimaginably difficult time as search and rescue efforts continue.”
The president’s schedule includes about three hours for meeting with the affected families.
“This is a president who understands what loss means,” she said.
More than 150 people are believed to have been killed when a section of the oceanfront building collapsed. Officials have confirmed 18 fatalities, while another 145 people are still missing.
Mr. and Mrs. Biden were also to meet with Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials.