Biden meets political rival DeSantis in Florida while touring Hurricane Ian destruction

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President Biden met with Gov. Ron DeSantis Wednesday in Florida as the political rivals came together to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Ian.

Biden, with first lady Jill Biden, is visiting hard-hit Fort Myers to “reaffirm his commitment to supporting the people of Florida as they recover and rebuild from the devastating storm,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday.

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DeSantis was not at the Fort Myers airport to greet Biden, who was seen shaking hands with Republican Rep. Byron Donalds on the tarmac. The Republican governor and Democratic president interacted later ahead of an operation briefing.

Also there to greet Biden on the airport tarmac were Lee County Chairman Cecil Pendergrass, Cape Coral Fire Department Chief Ryan Lamb, FEMA official Harvey Muns, Fort Myers Beach official Colleen Brooks and four firefighters.

Casey DeSantis, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, first lady Jill Biden, and President Biden walk to meet with local residents impacted by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Florida, on Oct. 5, 2022. 
(OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, right, gestures as President Biden speaks with local residents impacted by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Florida, on Oct. 5, 2022.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, right, gestures as President Biden speaks with local residents impacted by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Florida, on Oct. 5, 2022.
(OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden kicked off the visit with an aerial tour of Fort Myers, before meeting DeSantis.

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Biden was also seen interacting with Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott.

President Biden speaks with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., prior to meeting with local residents impacted by Hurricane Ian, in Fort Myers, Florida, on Oct/ 5, 2022.

President Biden speaks with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., prior to meeting with local residents impacted by Hurricane Ian, in Fort Myers, Florida, on Oct/ 5, 2022.
(OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden are greeted by Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., upon arrival at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Florida, on Oct. 5, 2022.

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden are greeted by Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., upon arrival at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Florida, on Oct. 5, 2022.
(OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

He is also set to thank local, state and federal officials who worked to provide life-saving support for the millions of Floridians affected by the mammoth hurricane. 

People continue to face power outages, lingering flood levels and continued rescue missions as people look to return to their communities. 

Biden on Wednesday extended the federal emergency relief he first enacted on Sept. 29 “at 100 percent of the total eligible costs” by an additional 30 days – making the direct federal assistance package available for 60 days. 

Aircraft are seen as President Biden and first lady Jill Biden visit Florida, Oct. 5, 2022.

Aircraft are seen as President Biden and first lady Jill Biden visit Florida, Oct. 5, 2022.
(REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

The relief package will provide funding for “debris removal and emergency protective measures.”

Biden will be briefed by DeSantis and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, and other state and local officials before be delivers remarks to the people of Florida Wednesday afternoon. 

Check back on this developing story.

Source: Fox News


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