By: Victor Peng
Over the course of the previous month, the Atlantic coast of America has been battered by severe weather, most recently, Hurricane Ian. After setting the entirety of Cuba in a blackout, Hurricane Ian, rated a Category 4 storm, hit Florida. Since touching the US mainland on September 28th, Ian has taken a total of 108 lives — 104 in Florida and 4 in North Carolina (as of Wednesday, October 5th). More than 1600 people have been rescued in Florida alone. On the power grid front, there were 2.6 million homes without electricity at the storm’s peak. 600,000 families and businesses still remain without electricity.
This Wednesday, October 5th, President Joe Biden visited the state of Florida to assess damages. Accompanied by first lady Jill Biden, the two first surveyed damages in the Fort Myers region by helicopter. Then, they met with affected residents and Floridian officials.
Left to Right: Casey DeSantis, Gov. Ron DeSantis, first lady Jill Biden, and President Biden (https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-takes-off-florida-where-hell-hurricane-ian-briefing-political-rival-desantis)
Previously, President Biden and Governor DeSantis have had an extremely icy relationship, due to the fact that they stand on either side of the political aisle, and both may be contesting for the 2024 presidential elections. They have publicly disagreed on various topics, from immigration to firearm restrictions.
This Wednesday, the two set aside their differences and met to help the citizens of Florida. “I’m just thankful everyone has banded together,” mentioned Governor DeSantis. Biden replied saying the cooperation was “extraordinary,” and expressed his pride in America’s ability to bounce back.
In a joint press conference between DeSantis and Biden, Biden mentioned that “at times like this, America comes together. We’re going to pull together as one team, as one America” (The White House Briefing Room). After his visit to Florida, Biden approved a 100% federal reimbursement of the recovery cost for 60 days after any destruction related to Hurricane Ian, which was an extra 30 days from the previous one month he approved on September 29. The relief package will provide funding for debris removal, as well as preventative measures in Florida’s infrastructure against any future disasters.
President Biden and first lady Jill Biden are greeted by Representative Byron Donalds upon landing in Florida. (https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-takes-off-florida-where-hell-hurricane-ian-briefing-political-rival-desantis)
To conclude the visit, Governor DeSantis thanked President Biden for visiting and for his responsiveness, stating that he has never seen better coordination between state and federal government. Biden replied by thanking DeSantis for his hospitality, telling reporters that DeSantis had done a "good job" despite their "different political philosophies."
“I’m just thankful everyone has banded together,” DeSantis said.
The federal government would “be here until it’s finished,” noted Biden. “This is not about… anything having to do with our disagreements politically. This is about saving people's lives, homes, and businesses.” Governor DeSantis and President Biden have set aside their differences to take care of the citizens’ needs, a true act by true leaders. We hope our fellow Americans in Florida will recover soon.