President Joe Biden promises his administration “isn’t going anywhere” during his visit to Surfside, Florida following the devastating building collapse.
Watch Biden and Florida officials meet in the player above.
Biden and his wife Jill arrived in Florida a week after the collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South beachfront condominium killed at least 18 people and left 145 missing.
Hundreds of first responders and search-and-rescue personnel have been painstakingly searching the pancaked rubble for potential signs of life.
No one has been rescued since the first hours after the collapse.
His comments came as rescue efforts at the site of a partially collapsed condominium building in Florida have been halted out of concern about the stability of the remaining structure.
Search crews that have been atop the pile of rubble for the last week stopped work shortly after 2 a.m. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava made the announcement at a news conference.
The president said he believed the federal government has “the power to pick up 100% of the cost” of the search and cleanup and urged the local officials to turn to Washington for assistance.
“You all know it, because a lot of you have been through it as well,” Biden said. “There’s gonna be a lot of pain and anxiety and suffering and even the need for psychological help in the days and months that follow. And so, we’re not going anywhere.”
Biden was briefed on the situation with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. The mayor saluted the efforts to cross party lines in a time of “an unprecedented devastating disaster” and added that the unified government and community response “is what gives us hope.”