The US was reeling from the devastating tornadoes that struck the weekend. President Joe Biden visited rural Kentucky Wednesday to assess the damage.
Biden flew over Mayfield in a helicopter, and was due to visit Dawson Springs (another Kentucky town destroyed by the tornado) later on Wednesday.
He stated in Mayfield, “I haven’t seen this much damage by a tornado.”
He also joined a pastor in his area and a country executive for prayer and said to local officials, “Don’t hesitate to ask anything.”
A system of tornadoes struck Kentucky and seven other US states. At least 88 people died, and more than 100 people remain missing. Many thousands of people were left without shelter. Biden declared a major catastrophe in Kentucky because of the damage caused by the storms. This decision grants unlimited federal aid to multiple towns in the state.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), along with emergency responders and rescue crews, has already sent shelter kits, food, water, blankets, and generators to Kentucky.
Biden tweeted, “It will take us all, working together, in order to recover and begin building again, and we are determined to provide whatever support is required for however long it may take.”
During President Biden’s visit to Mayfield, protestors in Mayfield chanted anti-Biden slogans.
The White House of Biden was careful to avoid sending political messages in the wake of the tragedy. It also didn’t mention the possible role that climate change might play in the destruction of storms, which is a politically charged issue for Republican voters.
The Democratic president called for the acceptance of political divisions in the areas of the country that voted heavily for Donald Trump last year.
Biden stated that there were no red or blue tornadoes in Mayfield, referring specifically to the colors associated by the Republican and Democratic parties.
dj/sms (AFP, AP, Reuters)