Biden’s recent trip to Florida was filled with controversy as conservative governor DeSantis shunned him, while he also pledged more support to fight against the climate crisis given the disaster of Hurricane Idalia.
“Nobody Intelligent Can Deny” It
President Biden made a strong statement about climate change during a tour of storm damage in Florida caused by Hurricane Idalia.
He stated that it was now undeniable for those with intelligence to see that the world was grappling with the impacts of the climate crisis, “Nobody can deny the impact of climate crises—at least nobody intelligent can deny the impact of the climate crisis anymore.”
The President traveled to Florida to assess the devastation, meet with survivors, and express his gratitude to those leading response and recovery efforts. First Lady Jill Biden accompanied him on this visit.
Floods, Fires and Disaster
Biden drew attention to the increasing frequency and severity of climate-related disasters, “Historic floods, intense droughts, extreme heat, deadly wildfires that have caused serious damage that we’ve never seen before.”
Biden stressed that every American rightfully expected the Federal Environment MAnagement Agency (FEMA) to be there when disaster struck, providing assistance and support, “These crises are affecting more and more Americans. And every American rightly expects to show up when they’re needed and to help in a disaster,” Biden said.
Biden called upon the United States Congress to ensure the safety and security of the American people by pumping more money into fighting the crisis.
Protecting the American People
“So I’m calling on the United States Congress, Democrats and Republicans, to ensure the funding is there to deal with the immediate crises, as well as our long term commitments to the safety and security of the America people,” Biden addressed.
On the previous day, President Biden announced his request for an additional $4 billion to replenish the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund. This brought the total funding request before Congress to $16 billion.
First, the Maui wildfires prompted Biden to sign a major disaster declaration to aid recovery efforts. Second, Hurricane Idalia, though downgraded to a tropical storm, required a similar major disaster declaration.
While in Florida, President Biden and Senator Rick Scott set aside their political differences to express gratitude for each other’s contributions to the hurricane response efforts.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis did not plan to meet with President Biden during his visit. DeSantis’ office cited concerns that such a meeting could strain the state’s disaster response efforts.
The White House expressed concern about the reasons behind the canceled meeting with Governor DeSantis.
Biden’s visit showed the need to urgently address climate change and the need for cooperation in tackling climate-related disasters.
The acknowledgment of climate change impacts has been met positively by the public, with more people beginning to switch their opinions on the matter since the latest natural disaster surge.
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