President Joe Biden. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are scheduled to travel to Florida on Wednesday, as the death toll for Ian continues to rise, hundreds of thousands of residents still have no power and the state faces a monumental task of fixing the damage from the massive storm.
The White House did not say where the Bidens will visit in Florida, but said additional details will follow, according to a White House news release late Saturday.
The release also said that the president and First Lady would be traveling Monday to Puerto Rico, where Hurricane Fiona was battered in September.
President Biden earlier had scheduled to visit Florida in late September, but the White House and Democratic National Committee announced that the visit to Florida was postponed due to then-Tropical Storm Ian. Later, Ian became a Category 4 hurricane.
Biden had been scheduled to speak in Fort Lauderdale and then appear later in the day at a political rally organized by the Democratic National Committee.
It’s the second time that the president has had to postpone a DNC event in Florida in the past couple of months. A previous DNC rally originally scheduled to be held in Tampa in July was postponed after Biden tested positive for COVID-19.
Biden last appeared in Florida in July 2021 after the stunning collapse of a condominium in Surfside in South Florida resulted in the deaths of 98 residents.
The Biden administration released a fact sheet on Saturday detailing the federal response, saying there are now more than 3,400 federal response personnel working in Florida and the Southeast as well as six Federal Search and Response teams, along with other personnel.
Biden on Saturday also declared an emergency in North Carolina due to the effects of the hurricane, ordering a federal response for that state as well.
Washington Bureau Chief Jane Norman of the States Newsroom contributed to this report.
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