Remarks By President Biden On Hurricane Fiona Recovery Efforts ‣ Viral.Spot72
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FEMA Area 2 Workplace
New York, New York
2:15 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good to see you all. Look, I’m right here as a result of we’re laser-focused on what’s occurring to the folks of Puerto Rico once more. We had been simply speaking — virtually to the day, almo- — at the very least to the week, and — 5 years after Hurricane Maria, which was devastating.
And as I informed you, Gov, once we spoke earlier this week, we’re surging federal sources to Puerto Rico, and we’ll do the whole lot — the whole lot we are able to to fulfill the pressing wants you could have. And we all know they’re actual and so they’re important. And we’re there. And, I do know, unhealthy joke, “I’m from the federal authorities, and I’m right here to assist.” However we actually are.
And I feel we — I hope you’re happy with the response to this point.
We’ll be with the Puerto Rico — the parents of Puerto Rico now and till that is finished and till we recuperate. And my spouse and I, we talked about it final night time. We pray for the — I do know the dying toll is up somewhat bit — however, , all of the folks displaced and all of the people who find themselves simply scared to dying, figuring out what occurred earlier than. Particularly should you’ve been via it final time, it’s bought to be extremely intimidating.
And on Sunday, even earlier than the storm made landfall, I accepted that declaration of catastrophe — the emergency catastrophe declaration, bringing the complete drive of the federal authorities to reply, figuring out full nicely the catastrophic results — how catastrophic they could possibly be on communities that haven’t even absolutely recovered from the final time, Gov, as you and I talked about. Thanks.
And, look, I requested FEMA Administrator Criswell — she’s proper right here with me — to go down herself and assess the scenario and ensure the folks of Puerto Rico have the whole lot — the whole lot they might probably want that we are able to present to assist them get via this.
And a whole bunch of FEMA and federal personnel are actually there, together with search and rescue groups, bilingual Catastrophe Survivor Help Groups, and the U.S. Corps energy restoration consultants.
And I particularly need to thank the native first responders. I need to say that once more — the native first responders. I need to thank them — together with the Puerto Rican Nationwide Guard, who’ve been working across the clock.
And disasters are traumatic for survivors, however they’re additionally traumatic for responders. It’s actual. And to expertise so many disasters in the middle of 5 years, it takes its toll.
FEMA is making disaster counselors accessible throughout Puerto Rico — survivors and responders alike. And so please reap the benefits of these sources. It’s okay to ask for assist. This can be a place it is best to ask for assist. There’s nothing — there’s no credit score for not asking for the assistance. Ask for assist should you want it.
And I need to thank the New York congressional delegation and Congresswoman González-Colón for her being right here in the present day. Particularly, I need to thank the governor, Governor Hochul, and Mayor Adams who’re right here. They’ve despatched state troopers, emergency responders from New York to assist brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico. And there’s a number of them, I feel. Perhaps New York has in regards to the largest Puerto Rican inhabitants within the nation. And the state, I feel, has the second largest, or near that, if I’m not mistaken.
GOVERNOR HOCHUL: Over 1,000,000.
THE PRESIDENT: Over 1,000,000.
And we’re all on this collectively, I promise you, Gov. This — we don’t view this as some distant downside.
And energy is slowly returning, nevertheless it’s returning. And extra assistance is coming from the utilities and the mainland. And we bought water and different provides accessible as nicely. And there’s nonetheless dozens of shelters which are nonetheless accessible and open.
However too many properties and companies are nonetheless with out energy, with out clear consuming water. And yesterday, on the governor’s request, I instantly accepted an expedited main catastrophe declaration to supply particular person and public help to assist folks and communities recuperate from it.
And this declaration goes to — we’ll get federal sources there rapidly. And it’s going to assist folks begin rebuilding their lives.
And as a part of the declaration, I’m saying in the present day that I’ve approved 100% — 100% federal funding for —
ADMINSTRATOR WARRINGTON: Sure.
THE PRESIDENT: — particles elimination, search and rescue, energy and water restoration, shelter and meals for the entire month. 100%.
So there’s no value in any respect, Governor, to you. I imply, there’s a major value, I do know — emotional value and others. However whether or not it’s — it’s 100% funding for particles elimination, search and rescue, energy and water restoration, and shelter and meals for the month.
And to the folks of Puerto Rico who’re nonetheless hurting from Hurricane Maria 5 years later, I do know that we’re — they — they need to know that this — we’re with you. We’re not going to stroll away. We imply it.
And I like the truth that Deanne — she’s going to talk in a minute — however had prepped for this as nicely — getting — figuring out what needed to be finished.
And so, , going ahead, Gov, I informed you: You will have the telephone quantity. You may name me, personally, anytime. And I imply it.
That is actually, actually, actually necessary to us. Actually necessary to us. And so we’re not going —
GOVERNOR PIERLUISI: Thanks.
THE PRESIDENT: — to stroll away.
And with that, let me say God bless the folks of Puerto Rico and — and our troops.
And I’m going to now flip it over to the FEMA Administrator.
2:22 P.M. EDT
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