Administration

Biden to travel to survey Kentucky damage on Wednesday

A car drives down a street lined with debris Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Mayfield, Ky.
Associated Press/Mark Humphrey

President Biden will travel to Kentucky on Wednesday in response to the deadly tornadoes that ripped across the commonwealth and other states this weekend.

Biden said he was working with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) on Monday to make sure his trip does not get in the way of recovery efforts, during a briefing from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell and others on the federal response to the tornadoes.

He will travel to Ft. Campbell for a storm briefing and to Mayfield and Dawson Springs to survey storm damage, according to the White House.

“We’re going to get this done. We’re going to be there as long as it takes to help,” he said.

“Whatever they need when they need it,” Biden said his message was to governors from impacted states.

At the briefing, Biden was shown maps of the tornadoes’ destruction in Kentucky’s Warren and Graves counties.

Biden said he worries most about the peace of mind of the victims of the extreme weather, saying that the “mental health” of victims and “the uncertainty” worries him most. 

Biden on Sunday approved a major disaster declaration, ordering federal aid to supplement recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, winds, flooding and tornadoes. 

The president said on Monday the federal government will stay as long as it is needed and that he thinks Congress will respond where more resources are needed for disaster relief. 

“We can’t say it was with absolute certainty” that the tornadoes were because of climate change, he said, but it “certainly is one of the worst disasters.”

When asked if he’ll argue to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) that his Build Back Better agenda needs to pass because of climate change, he said, “No, I’m not looking to make that argument.” 

Tornadoes ravaged Kentucky and five other states over the weekend, killing at least 80 people. Officials predict the death toll will climb, along with estimates of property damage and business losses.

Tags Alejandro Mayorkas damage Emergency declaration FEMA Joe Biden Joe Manchin Kentucky Tornadoes

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