May 20, 2024
President Joe Biden said Thursday that he is "laser-focused" on extending federal aid to Puerto Rico as the island attempts to deal with the deadly destruction left by Hurricane Fiona.

President Joe Biden said Thursday that he is “laser-focused” on extending federal aid to Puerto Rico as the island attempts to deal with the deadly destruction left by Hurricane Fiona.

Biden’s comments came during a briefing with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell, in which the president reaffirmed that the federal government would cover the cost of all search and rescue, debris removal, and other emergency restorative services the local government requests.

MOST OF PUERTO RICO STILL WITHOUT POWER AND WATER AFTER HURRICANE FIONA

“I’m here because we’re laser-focused on what’s happened to the people of Puerto Rico,” he said Thursday. “I told you guys when we spoke earlier this week, we’re surging federal resources to Puerto Rico. And we’ll do everything, everything, we can to meet the urgent needs you have, and we know they’re real and they’re significant.”

“We’ll be with Puerto Rico, the folks [of] Puerto Rico, now and until this is done, until we recover,” Biden continued. “My wife and I talked about this last night. We prayed for — I know the death toll is up a little bit — but all the people displaced and all the people who are just scared to death, knowing what happened before, especially if we went through it last time. It’s got to be incredibly intimidating.”

Fiona hit Puerto Rico nearly five years to the day after Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island’s power grid and infrastructure.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

As of Thursday, roughly a third of the island still does not have running water, while more than half is still without power. Authorities believe that roughly 800 people are being housed in about 40 temporary shelters across the island.

You can watch Biden’s comments in full below.

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