President Biden toured storm-ravaged parts of Florida on Wednesday, pledging billions of dollars in federal aid for people impacted by Hurricane Ian, which made landfall last week as one of the most devastating storms ever to hit the United States. Biden viewed the storm’s path of destruction by helicopter, flying over Fort Myers Beach, which took a direct hit from Ian’s Category 4 winds. He then met with Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential rival in the 2024 presidential election. Biden said after their meeting the recovery effort could take years, and blamed the climate crisis for adding to Ian’s destructive power.
President Joe Biden: “More fires have burned in the West, in the Southwest, burned everything right to the ground, than in the entire state of New Jersey, as much room as that takes up. And the reservoirs out west are down to almost zero. We’re in a situation where the Colorado River looks more like a stream. And there’s a lot going on. And I think the one thing this has finally ended is the discussion about whether or not there’s climate change and we should do something about it.”