DeSantis Continues Leading Idalia Recovery-Biden Travels to Florida for Photo Op

Governor Ron DeSantis is continuing to lead recovery efforts in Florida after a category 3 hurricane swept the Big Bend region on Wednesday. The governor’s office announced Saturday that power had been restored to 90 percent of affected accounts and said utility linemen were working to finish the job. DeSantis, currently running for President, paused his campaign last week and canceled scheduled appearances in South Carolina to focus on the state’s emergency response.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is focusing on lecturing Floridians about climate change and scouring the storm wreckage for photo ops. The 80-year-old President touched down in the state on Saturday after touring the aftermath in a helicopter. He addressed residents in a hurricane-affected area at a press conference.

“Nobody can deny the impact of climate crises — at least nobody intelligent can deny the impact of the climate crisis anymore. Just look around, around the nation and the world for that matter,” Biden said. “Historic floods, intense droughts, extreme heat, deadly wildfires that have caused serious damage that we’ve never seen before.”

Biden reportedly planned to meet with DeSantis during his visit to the Sunshine State. Still, a spokesman for the governor said that DeSantis had no plans to divert attention from recovery efforts.

“In these rural communities, and so soon after impact, the security preparations alone that would go into setting up such a meeting would shut down ongoing recovery efforts,” said DeSantis Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern.

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On Saturday, DeSantis met with survivors and first responders in the Big Bend counties affected by the storm. He and first lady Casey DeSantis traveled to Horseshoe Beach, where they handed out meals to residents. More than 220,000 Meals and over 150,000 water bottles have been distributed so far by the State Emergency Response Team.

After the meeting, Casey DeSantis posted on X,

“God bless our amazing military men and women, first responders and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to help Floridians through Hurricane Idalia – [Gov. Ron DeSantis] and I greatly appreciate your service, thank you!”

The Florida Disaster Fund, which the Governor and First Lady announced, has raised almost $3 million since its activation. The funds will go to support communities affected by Hurricane Idalia.

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Biden reportedly canceled vacation plans with his wife before visiting Florida. The President’s Florida trip marks his second post-disaster embarrassment in recent weeks, following his careless response to the deadly Maui wildfire.

During a press conference Saturday, Biden was asked whether he had plans to visit East Palestine, Ohio, the site of a disastrous train derailment in February that contaminated the surrounding environment. Despite his previous promise to do so, Biden said no and blamed his busy schedule.

“Well, I haven’t had the occasion to go to East Palestine. There’s a lot going on here, and I just haven’t been able to break.”

His answer sparked renewed criticism of his administration’s handling of the disaster. Former Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) called Biden’s response “unacceptable.”

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