Biden to Tour Hurricane Ida Damage in New Orleans

WASHINGTON — President Biden is ready to fly to New Orleans on Friday to tour the injury wrought by Hurricane Ida, a part of an effort to reveal his dedication to the federal authorities’s storm response at the same time as his administration stays enmeshed in different urgent issues from the coronavirus surge to the aftermath of his Afghanistan withdrawal.

In steerage for reporters issued late Thursday night, White Home officers mentioned Mr. Biden would survey storm injury and meet with authorities officers from communities affected by the hurricane, which the president described on Thursday because the fifth-largest hurricane in American historical past.

Mr. Biden mentioned in a speech on the White Home earlier on Thursday that he would meet with Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, together with parish presidents and different native officers.

“Governor Edwards inspired me to return and guaranteed me that the go to won’t disrupt restoration efforts on the bottom,” Mr. Biden mentioned. “That’s what I needed to make sure of. My message to everybody affected is: We’re all on this collectively. The nation is right here to assist.”

Ida slammed into Louisiana on Sunday as a Class four hurricane, leaving a minimum of 12 individuals there lifeless and the ability grid in shambles, earlier than its remnants marched up the East Coast and deluged New York and far of the remainder of the Northeast, killing dozens extra.

Regardless of the departure of the final U.S. troops from Afghanistan on Monday, Mr. Biden has taken pains to indicate his engagement with the storm response efforts all through the week. On Sunday, because the storm made landfall on the Gulf Coast, he stopped on the Federal Emergency Administration Company’s headquarters in Washington to provide employees a pep speak.

Mr. Biden mentioned on Thursday that he was getting “hourly updates on the progress from FEMA, effectively into the evening, and we’ll be working across the clock till the important wants of the area are absolutely met.”

The itinerary for the journey, and Mr. Biden’s aggressive public efforts to focus on how his administration was getting ready for the storm, present a stark distinction from President George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina 16 years in the past.

Mr. Bush drew sharp criticism for a sluggish federal response to that storm, which inundated components of New Orleans and brought about the deaths of greater than 1,800 individuals. Mr. Bush was famously photographed viewing the storm’s devastation from a window on Air Power One, in what grew to become an emblem of federal detachment from the injury. He later mentioned he regretted the {photograph}, and wished he had landed in Louisiana.

“I ought to have touched down in Baton Rouge, met with the governor and, you realize, walked out and mentioned, ‘I hear you,’” Mr. Bush mentioned in a 2010 interview. “After which received again on a flight as much as Washington. I didn’t do this. And paid a worth for it.”

Mr. Biden has not talked about Mr. Bush in his remarks in regards to the hurricane this week. However he has repeatedly promoted authorities efforts to place electrical employees, medical groups, electrical turbines and different support forward of the storm, in hopes of quickly bringing reduction to the individuals affected by it.

“Whilst we deal with the core components of the catastrophe response, we’re additionally deploying new instruments to assist velocity this restoration — issues that haven’t been used very a lot in prior hurricane responses,” Mr. Biden mentioned on Thursday. “Working with non-public firms that personal and function the lifeline infrastructure, like electrical energy and communications, we’ve used the most recent expertise to speed up restoration of energy and cellphone service.”

Mr. Biden has additionally used the storm, together with the flooding within the Northeast on Wednesday, to name consideration to his agenda to battle local weather change. Democrats in Congress are scrambling this month in an try to cross a multitrillion-dollar spending invoice that Mr. Biden says ought to embrace tax incentives for low-carbon vitality deployment, together with different insurance policies meant to cut back greenhouse gasoline emissions.

Jen Psaki, the White Home press secretary, instructed reporters on Thursday that the hurricane reaffirmed the president’s “dedication to getting his Construct Again Higher agenda handed, which has an enormous, big give attention to addressing the local weather disaster.”

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