Biden offers solace to families of Surfside victims (includes video story)

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden paid a visit to Surfsideafter a week after the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers South building last Thursday. 

“The whole nation is mourning with these families,” said Biden. “They see it every day on television. They’re going through hell, those who survived the collapse as well as those who are missing loved ones. It’s bad enough to lose somebody, but the really hard part is to not know whether they survived or not.” 

At the St. Regis hotel, Biden privately met with the families of Surfside, offered condolences, and provided comfort to those desperate for information about their loved ones. In addition, Biden brought attention to how the United States has come together to deal with the disaster. 

Governor Ron DeSantis and Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava met with Biden for a briefing. They thanked Biden for the support he is giving during this time.

Biden pledged financial assistance to the rescue and recovery efforts. 

“I think I have the power— and we’ll know shortly— to be able to pick up 100% of the cost for the county and the state for 30 days,” Biden said at a command briefing Thursday morning, flanked by DeSantis and Levine Cava. 

Moreover, concerns over the stability of the building’s remaining portion caused rescue efforts to be put on hold yesterday. Crews have since resumed their search.

The president and first lady Jill Biden also expressed their gratitude to the firefighters and other personnel who rushed to help the rescue effort. Biden said he spoke with the first responders to encourage them to take advantage of mental health services that would be offered.

“Jill and I wanted them to know that we’re with them and the country is with them,” Biden said. “Our message today is that we’re here for you as one nation.”

The Bidens finished their day at the memorial site as they left flowers for the missing people and shared a moment of silence. 

Zitlali Solache is a student in Florida International University, pursuing her Masters degree in Spanish-Language Broadcast Journalism. Zitlali Solache is Mexican American and has a passion for storytelling and news. She has interned for WPBT PBS, WSVN Channel 7 and STEP Univision. After graduation, Zitlali aspires to become a reporter/anchor in her hometown Miami, FL.