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Remarks: Joe Biden Addresses the Federal Response to Hurricane Idalia in Florida - September 2, 2023

  • Joe Biden
    Person
  • Keith Davis
    Person
  • Question
    Person
  • Aide
    Person
  • Jill Biden
    Person
Positive

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:00:00-00:00:04 (5 sec)
Is everyone here? 1

Aide

Positive
00:00:04-00:00:05 (1 sec)
Yes. 2

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:00:05-00:00:12 (7 sec)
That's a dumb question because if you're not here, how would you know you weren't here? 3

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:00:12-00:00:20 (9 sec)
Folks, first let me thank the mayor for sticking with me and showing me around. Thank you, Mr. Mayor. 4

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:00:20-00:00:38 (18 sec)
And, you know, as you just walk around here and look at these few homes -- my mother used to have an expression, "but for the grace of God" -- can you imagine -- can you imagine this tree falling through your roof in your home? 5

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:00:38-00:00:57 (19 sec)
I met the family who lives one door down from -- this is used as a church. Had that tree -- it's got to be 75, 100 feet long. Had that gone 10 degrees to the right, it would have been through a young woman's bedroom. She would have been gone. 6

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:00:57-00:01:21 (24 sec)
So, I tell you what, you know -- you know, I just did this aerial tour with Live Oak Police Chief Keith Davis surveying the damage on the way up here and then on the ground since we've been here -- surveying the damage of a Category 3 hurricane that made landfall Wednesday morning. 7

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:01:21-00:01:29 (9 sec)
No -- no winds this strong had hit this area in 100 years. Pray to God it'll be another 100 years before this happens again. 8

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:01:29-00:01:41 (12 sec)
Senator Rick Scott, who was with me today, I want to thank him for his cooperation and his help. And he shares the view I do about FEMA: They're doing an incredible job. 9

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:01:41-00:01:45 (4 sec)
But the work, in a sense, is just beginning. We got a lot of work to do. 10

Joe Biden

Positive
00:01:45-00:01:49 (4 sec)
And all the officials from Florida, I want to thank them. 11

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:01:49-00:02:12 (23 sec)
Jill and I spent time with the incredible first responders and folks who ran toward the danger instead of away from the danger when this storm was coming and when it hit. And -- and with their families whose -- the families whose lives have been upended. We didn't get to meet everybody, but we met a lot. 12

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:02:12-00:02:25 (13 sec)
Here in -- here in Live Oak, massive trees -- as we -- I just was referring -- were uprooted from intense hurricane-force winds. Flooding and severe damage of homes and businesses. 13

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:02:25-00:02:44 (19 sec)
Police Chief Davis, who's probably -- can hardly wait until I go because we're spending so much time with him today -- and I appreciate it. I really do, Chief. As -- you know, he not only -- while he was doing his job, he lost part of his house and he lost the roof on his barn. It was destroyed. 14

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:02:44-00:02:49 (5 sec)
A leader at school lost part of her roof and her car was destroyed. 15

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:02:49-00:02:59 (9 sec)
Power is out across the county as chicken-processing plants and lumber mills -- so they can't operate, affecting the economic well-being in the near term. 16

Joe Biden

Leans Positive
00:02:59-00:03:15 (17 sec)
Just here in this county, millions -- millions of broiler chickens had to be destroyed. I know a little about that. Delaware -- in the Delmarva Peninsula, it's a $4 billion industry. It's the way people make their living. It's a way you feed the world. It's amazing. 17

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:03:15-00:03:33 (18 sec)
And hundreds of broken power poles, downed powerlines means many of you in Live Oak have -- still have no power. I know it's frustrating and it's hard, and I've directed FEMA to help you in every way they can. 18

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:03:33-00:03:48 (15 sec)
And FEMA in the future can fund and replace these wooden poles with steel poles that are much safer and much more resistant to further kinds of storms like this. 19

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:03:48-00:04:03 (15 sec)
Families pulling -- piecing their lives back together, but through it all -- you've seen it and the press has seen it too -- neighbors helping neighbors. I mean really, genuinely neighbors helping neighbors with determination and optimism. 20

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:04:03-00:04:20 (17 sec)
The spirit of this community is remarkable. When people are in real trouble, the most important thing to give them is hope. And there is no hope like your neighbor walking across the street and seeing what they can do for you or the local pastor or someone coming in and offering you help. It gives you hope. 21

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:04:20-00:04:46 (26 sec)
And hundreds of dedicated line workers are here restoring power. I asked for an estimation of how many line workers from other states came, knowing the hurricane was coming. Twenty states, including Georgia and Alabama, sent line workers to try to reestablish the electric connections here in this state. Twenty different states to get this community back. 22

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:04:46-00:05:01 (14 sec)
I've been in frequent touch with Governor DeSantis since the storm made landfall. And at my direction, FEMA Administrator Criswell -- she traveled to Florida Wednesday night after having been here earlier. 23

Joe Biden

Slightly Negative
00:05:01-00:05:20 (20 sec)
And I approved the request within six hours of the time that Governor DeSantis asked for a mass -- a major disaster declaration. At the same time, a request from Governor McMaster of South Carolina for an emergency declaration. That's a fancy way of saying "just getting help immediately and all we can do under the law." 24

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:05:20-00:05:48 (28 sec)
And, folks, we're making federal assistance available for Florida survivors whose homes or businesses are damaged and destroyed. We're helping Florida and South Carolina deliver meals and water and remove debris. And we pre-positioned ahead of time the -- the FEMA pre- -- pre-positioned, knowing this storm might hit, meals and water throughout this area. 25

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
00:05:48-00:06:05 (17 sec)
Before this storm, we pre-deployed 1,500 federal personnel and 900 Coast Guard personnel. That's not to mention the National Guard -- the state National Guard that's here, that's weighed in as well. 26

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:06:05-00:06:19 (14 sec)
We surged millions of meals, thousands of tarps, blankets, and cots. And from the moment this storm hit, federal search and rescue teams helped people whose homes were surrounded by water. 27

Joe Biden

Positive
00:06:19-00:06:29 (10 sec)
And now the storm has passed and you're dealing with what's left in its wake, and we're not going anywhere -- the federal government. We're here to help the state as long as it takes. 28

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:06:29-00:06:56 (27 sec)
FEMA and the Small Business Administration are here to help residents whose homes and businesses were destroyed or damaged. And you can determine whether you're -- qualify and how to get the help if you haven't been contacted already by going to DisasterAssistance.gov and register for assistance. If you had any damage, go to DisasterAssistance.gov to register for assistance. 29

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:06:56-00:07:15 (19 sec)
Earlier this week, I visited FEMA Headquarters in Washington to thank the emergency responding personnel who are working 24/7 here in Florida and throughout the Southwe- -- Southeast and in Maui, in Hawaii. I want to reiterate that appreciation today. 30

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
00:07:15-00:07:30 (16 sec)
I also convened my entire Cabinet as part of a whole-of-government response. And that response is to [the] increase [in] the number and intensity of the extreme weather events and be wary -- we're going to be -- use all the resources available to the government to do it. 31

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:07:30-00:07:39 (9 sec)
Nobody can deny the impact of climate crisis -- at least nobody intelligent can deny the impact of the climate crisis anymore. 32

Joe Biden

Leans Negative
00:07:39-00:07:54 (15 sec)
Just look around -- around the nation and the world for that matter: historic floods, intense droughts, extreme heat, deadly wirefires -- wildfires that have caused serious damage like we've never seen before. 33

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:07:54-00:08:13 (19 sec)
Just since being President, in two and a half years, I've flown over more land burned to the ground as a consequence of wildfires than occupy the in state -- the entire land of the state of Maryland. From down in New Mexico and Alabama all up into Montana and around, it's been devastating. 34

Joe Biden

Slightly Negative
00:08:13-00:08:34 (21 sec)
Folks, when I took office, I directed my team to raise our game in how to lead and coordinate our response to national disasters. I met people here today that -- that are -- and when they need our help the most, there's a reason why we've done it. Just look around this community and every other community you followed me to. 35

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:08:34-00:08:43 (10 sec)
Folks, to not only meet the people where they are when they need help the most but to build back -- to build back stronger and more resilient. 36

Joe Biden

Neutral
00:08:43-00:08:54 (10 sec)
Just like I directed my entire Cabinet to do in Maui, to help the devastated communities recover and rebuild there as it was before. 37

Joe Biden

Somewhat Negative
00:08:54-00:09:08 (14 sec)
You know, these crises are affecting more than -- more and more Americans. And every American rightly expects FEMA to show up when they are needed, to help in a disaster. 38

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:09:08-00:09:22 (14 sec)
So I'm calling on the United States Congress -- Democrats and Republicans -- to ensure the funding is there to deal with the immediate crises, as well as our long-term commitments to the safety and security of the American people. 39

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:09:22-00:09:43 (21 sec)
I'm here today to deliver a clear message to the people of Florida and throughout the Southeast. As I told your governor: If there is anything your state needs, I'm ready to mobilize that support -- anything they need related to these storms. Your nation has your back, and we'll be with you until the job is done. 40

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:09:43-00:10:06 (23 sec)
Before I conclude, as I'm about to head back north, I want to say a word to the people of Jacksonville, Florida, on a different subject, who are still reeling from the shooting rampage near Edward Waters University, an S- -- HBCU last weekend. A terrorist act driven by racial hatred and animus. 41

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:10:06-00:10:17 (11 sec)
Our hearts are with you, those of you who were affected and all your families. A terrorist act, as I said, driven by hatred and animus. 42

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:10:17-00:10:38 (20 sec)
And, ladies and gentlemen, let me say this clearly: Hate will not prevail in America. Hate will not prevail in America. Racism will not prevail in America. Domestic terrorism will not prevail in America. 43

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
00:10:38-00:10:53 (15 sec)
And to make it real clear: Silence on this issue -- both public and private, from the private sector -- silence is complicity. We must not, we will not remain silent. 44

Joe Biden

Leans Positive
00:10:53-00:10:58 (5 sec)
I'll have much more to say about that later, but I did want to mention it while I was here. 45

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:10:58-00:11:12 (14 sec)
Ladies and gentlemen, you saw firsthand. And thanks to the press, the rest of the nation has got to see it. These are good people -- good people who have been devastated. They need help. 46

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:11:12-00:11:30 (18 sec)
Imagine yourself in this position. Imagine you being in this position. Imagine you being the family that a tree that is about 100 -- more than 100 feet, a gigantic tree, coming that close to taking out your daughter's bedroom and taking out your daughter in the process. 47

Joe Biden

Leans Positive
00:11:30-00:11:39 (10 sec)
You know, this is tough stuff. But again, if people know we're with them, they'll get through this. Just knowing we're not going to forget. And we will not forget. 48

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
00:11:39-00:11:40 (1 sec)
Thank you all so very much. 49

Joe Biden

Positive
00:11:40-00:11:42 (2 sec)
I'll take a few questions. Yes, ma'am. 50

Question

Slightly Negative
00:11:42-00:12:02 (19 sec)
Mr. President, were you disappointed that the governor didn't join you on your visit today and that his handling of your visit makes it seem like politics is getting in the way of your joint response to this crisis? 51

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:12:02-00:12:11 (9 sec)
Well, no, I'm not disappointed. He may have had other reasons, because -- but he did help us plan this. He sat with FEMA and -- and decided where we should go, where would be the least disruption. 52

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:12:11-00:12:29 (18 sec)
And I'm very pleased. The guy who -- we don't agree very much at all. The distinguished former governor and senior senator, he came, talked about it to me and to you all about how incredible -- what an incredible job the federal government was doing. And I -- I found that reassuring. 53

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:12:29-00:12:41 (12 sec)
And so, I think -- I think we can pull this together. I really do. 54

Question

Unknown
00:12:41-00:12:44 (4 sec)
You said in March that you would go to East Palestine, Ohio. You came here. How come you haven't gone to East Palestine yet? 55

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
00:12:44-00:12:49 (5 sec)
Well, I haven't had the occasion to go to East Palestine. There is a lot going on here, and I just haven't been able to break. 56

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:12:49-00:13:03 (13 sec)
I was thinking whether I'd go to East Palestine this week, but I then was reminded I've got to go literally around the world. I'm going from -- from Washington to India to Vietnam to -- and so, I -- it's was going to be a while. 57

Joe Biden

Leans Negative
00:13:03-00:13:06 (3 sec)
But we're making sure that East Palestine has what they need materially in order to deal with their problems. 58

Joe Biden

Positive
00:13:06-00:13:06 ( sec)
Yes. 59

Question

Leans Negative
00:13:06-00:13:15 (9 sec)
Mr. President, are you confident that there will be enough money to deal with this pro- -- this disaster and the other disasters that have happened and will continue to happen around the country? 60

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:13:15-00:13:44 (29 sec)
The answer is: I'm confident because I can't imagine the Congress saying, "We're not going to help." There are going to be fights about things that don't relate to this, trying to connect this to other money or not -- you know, but I think we'll get through it. I just can't imagine people saying, no, they're not going to help. 61

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
00:13:44-00:13:45 (1 sec)
Well, ladies and gentlemen -- 62

Aide

Unknown
00:13:45-00:13:46 (1 sec)
Mr. Mayor is going to make some remarks, too. 63

Joe Biden

Neutral
00:13:46-00:13:50 (3 sec)
Oh, I'm sorry. I -- I wasn't even supposed to take the questions now. 64

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
00:13:50-00:14:02 (12 sec)
Mr. Mayor -- [laughter] -- I apologize. I apologize. The floor is -- the podium is yours, Mr. Mayor. 65

Keith Davis

Somewhat Positive
00:14:02-00:14:02 (1 sec)
Thank you. 66

Keith Davis

Very Positive
00:14:02-00:14:18 (16 sec)
Thank you, Mr. President. And, again, thank you so much for coming to Live Oak and highlighting the -- the tremendous suffering that has taken place here. And, again, I am with you and my heart is with these folks who have this damage. 67

Keith Davis

Very Positive
00:14:18-00:14:40 (22 sec)
But you did hit on some themes that I think are important. One is "but for the grace of God." We're so grateful that there was not more damage or loss of life. These kinds of things we can replace. People will get back to normal, and things will move on. And we're just so grateful that people are safe here in our county. 68

Keith Davis

Very Positive
00:14:40-00:14:57 (16 sec)
You also mentioned something that my wife said to be sure to say, and it's already been said, and that is "neighbor helping neighbor." And we've seen so much of that. That each one helping another, and it's very important and very impressive to me. 69

Keith Davis

Very Positive
00:14:57-00:15:21 (24 sec)
And then the third thing that you hit on was thanking all those who have responded -- first responders. I mean, we could just go down a long list: the federal government, the state government. I appreciate the sen- -- Senator Scott here and you guys working together and talking together. It is really, I think, impressive and important to have that unity. 70

Keith Davis

Very Positive
00:15:21-00:15:42 (21 sec)
We've had a local response, our local people. And then we've had numbers of linemen come in, and we've had a number of other first responders and so forth and many volunteers -- people who come for free just to help to get this community back on its feet. We're so grateful for those things. 71

Keith Davis

Very Positive
00:15:42-00:15:55 (13 sec)
And you hit on all three of those. And I'm thankful for you doing that to -- just to let people know that that type of thing is important. We see that here in Live Oak. And, again, we're so thankful for people who have helped. 72

Keith Davis

Very Positive
00:15:55-00:16:22 (27 sec)
I did want to point out, Mr. President, this is an historic site. The old Douglass High school, named after the abolitionist Frederick Douglass, was located here and had to be torn down a number of years ago because of asbestos and other issues. But the Douglass Center remains, and it's become a symbol here of pride for this community. So we're -- we're in a good place here today, and I'm glad this is where we could hold this event today. 73

Keith Davis

Very Positive
00:16:22-00:16:32 (10 sec)
And thank you for coming here. And, again, thank you so much to the First Lady for coming with you. I'm sure she could have done a lot of other things. But she's kind of like my wife. When I go somewhere, I like for her to go with me even if it's to jump in the car and go out in the Walmart. So, we enjoy being together, and I know you do, too. 74

Keith Davis

Positive
00:16:32-00:16:34 (1 sec)
So, again, thank you, First Lady. 75

Jill Biden

Very Positive
00:16:34-00:16:35 (2 sec)
Thank you. Thank you very much. 76

Keith Davis

Very Positive
00:16:35-00:16:38 (2 sec)
And thank you, Mr. President. And God bless you. 77

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
00:16:38-00:16:39 (1 sec)
Thank you, Mr. Mayor. 78

Question

Very Negative
00:16:39-00:16:41 (2 sec)
Mr. President, your reaction to the death of Governor Richardson? 79

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
00:16:41-00:16:42 (1 sec)
He was a good friend. It's very disappointing. 80

Question

Unknown
00:16:42-00:16:45 (3 sec)
Mr. President, when can you tell the people when will things go back to normal here? 81

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
00:16:45-00:16:53 (8 sec)
Well, I'd tell them we're going to stay here until it goes back to normal. 82