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President Biden struck an odd tone during a visit to the scene of the Florida building collapse Thursday, as he talked about finding a good side to the disaster, which has left 18 dead and nearly 150 missing.
“You know what’s good about this?” Biden said at a briefing with local leaders. “It lets the nation know we can cooperate and when it’s really important.”
Biden added, “I just got back from 12 days in Europe. They wonder whether we can do this. And you’re doing it.”
At least 18 people died and 145 others remain missing after the collapse of the beachfront building in Surfside, north of Miami.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, sitting to Biden’s right at a table in Surfside, thanked Biden for federal support in the rescue operation.
“We’re gonna need some mental health support for some of the folks who’ve been in that rubble because it’s not easy to do. But we thank you for the support and we do appreciate that the collaboration for local, state and federal,” DeSantis said.
“And you know, what we just need now is we need a little bit of luck and a little bit of prayers, and we would like to be able to see some miracles happen.”
DeSantis is widely regarded as a leading potential 2024 presidential candidate. Former President Donald Trump also said that if he chooses to run again, he would consider DeSantis as a running mate.
Biden is expected to privately meet with the family members of victims before delivering afternoon remarks on the Surfside tragedy. There have been no survivors pulled from the rubble since last Thursday.
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