President Joe Biden toured hurricane-ravaged parts of Florida on Wednesday.
U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visited Fort Myers, Florida, Wednesday, taking an aerial tour aboard presidential helicopter Marine One to survey damage from Hurricane Ian and meeting with officials, residents and business owners affected by the deadly, powerful storm.
The U.S. death toll from Ian has risen to at least 109 people, with 105 of those deaths in Florida and the rest in North Carolina. More than 50 deaths were reported in Florida's Lee County, which bore the brunt of the storm when it came ashore.
Biden met with state and local leaders, including Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, to discuss recovery efforts. The president has quarreled with DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential election contender, on immigration and other issues, and Rubio and Scott have both sharply criticized the Biden administration’s policies.
For now, the political rivals have put differences aside to focus on relief efforts in the aftermath of the hurricane that struck the country's third most populous state.
"This is about America coming together," Biden said in a joint press conference with DeSantis after being briefed by officials. He vowed to bring "every element of the federal government together to help with immediate needs and long-term rebuilding" in the state.
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