Psaki says Biden won’t visit Miami-area building collapse and supports an investigation

jen psaki
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds the daily press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, June 28, 2021.

  • Biden does not plan to travel to the area of the Florida building collapse, Psaki said.
  • The trip would divert local resources away from ongoing rescue efforts, she added.
  • The White House has sent federal assistance to state and local officials.
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President Joe Biden doesn’t plan to visit the area of a collapsed Florida building as the trip would divert local resources away from ongoing rescue efforts, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

“We always want to ensure that we’re not pulling from local resources. We don’t want to draw resources that are needed in the ongoing search and rescue operations and efforts,” Psaki told reporters during a news conference on Monday. “We will remain in close contact with officials on the ground.”

The White House has provided state and local officials with federal assistance to help respond to last Thursday’s partial collapse of a 12-story residential building in Surfside, Florida, just outside of Miami.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and US Army Corps of Engineers have deployed teams to assist with search and rescue operations, incident management and debris removal, Psaki said. FEMA is also coordinating with state and local officials to open a family assistance center and provide communications support, she continued.

Psaki reiterated that FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell traveled to the state to meet with Gov. Ron DeSantis and briefed Biden on the scene. The president on Sunday said the update was “excruciating” to hear and that his administration is ready to provide any necessary relief.

“This is an unimaginably difficult time for the families enduring this tragedy,” Biden said. “For those who are waiting in anguish for word of their loved ones as search and rescue efforts continue in the aftermath of this catastrophic incident, the pain of the uncertainty is an added, heartbreaking burden. My heart goes out to every single person suffering during this awful moment.”

Psaki also said that Biden supports an investigation into the partial collapse of the 40-year-old condo building, which has left at least 10 people dead, as of Monday afternoon. Over 150 people remain missing.

“The goal of course is to get to the bottom of what happened and of course have it be an instructive guide of how to prevent it from happening in the future,” Psaki said.

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