White House: Bidens to visit Surfside, Florida amid building collapse rescue efforts
According to a Tuesday morning announcement from the White House, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Surfside, Florida, Thursday amid search and rescue efforts at the site of the city's partially collapsed 12-story residential building, CNN reports.
As of Tuesday, at least 11 people are dead and 150 people remain unaccounted for.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki explained that the Bidens want to express their deep gratitude to first responders and other volunteers who are assisting in rescue efforts, saying, "They want to thank the heroic first responders, search and rescue teams and everyone who has been working tirelessly around the clock, and meet with the families who have been forced to endure this terrible tragedy waiting in anguish and heartbreak for word of their loved ones to offer them comfort as search and rescue efforts continue."
"They want to make sure that state and local officials have the resources and support they need under the emergency declaration approved by the President for Miami-Dade, Florida."
Over the weekend, President Biden joined his family at Camp David, but officials said he received briefings each day over the phone and from a traveling national security adviser, Yohannes Abraham.
Biden spoke to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis by phone at the end of last week and issued an emergency declaration to authorize federal assistance Friday.
The President said his administration was doing everything in its power to be of assistance to those affected.
The cause of the collapse has yet to be determined, but a letter sent months before the deadly collapse warned damage to the building was hastening after a 2018 report raised red flags related to structural damage.
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