President Joe Biden
and First Lady Jill Biden
will pay a visit to Surfside
, on Thursday, as the search for survivors of a condo collapse
in the beachside community enters its one-week mark.
As he boarded Marine One for a trip to Wisconsin
for a meeting on agriculture and rural economic growth, Biden told reporters that he hoped to visit “as soon as we can.”
The president and first lady "want to thank the heroic first responders, search and rescue
teams, and everyone who's been working tirelessly around the clock," White House press secretary Jen Psaki
said Tuesday aboard Air Force
Psaki added that the two will also meet with families who have been “forced to endure this terrible tragedy, waiting in anguish and heartbreak for word of their loved ones, and to offer them comfort as search and rescue efforts continue.”
Five days after the 12-story building's sudden structural failure, two more bodies were recovered from the rubble on Monday, bringing the confirmed death toll
to 11, with 150 people
Psaki said at a press conference on Monday that Biden would not visit Florida until the administration was certain that his presence would not divert resources away from ongoing search-and-rescue efforts.
She went on to say that the president would support a federal investigation
into the collapse, and that the FEMA
has dispatched officials from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, OSHA
, and the FBI
to assist with that effort.
The building's structural engineering report from 2018 warned of "major structural damage" but made no mention of imminent collapse.