"God-awful mess": Biden visits tornado-ravaged Kentucky
President Biden on Wednesday visited tornado-ravaged Kentucky, calling what affected families in hard-hit Mayfield and other areas are going through "a God-awful mess."
The big picture: During his visit, Biden amended the federal disaster declaration he previously approved, making federal funds for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, available to cover 100% of the total "eligible costs" for for 30 days, the White House said.
What they're saying: "We're going to get this done. I promise you — The governor is not walking away, your county judge is not walking away, your congressman is not walking away. No one's walking away. We're in this for the long haul," Biden said at a press conference in Dawson Springs, Ky. "Keep the faith."
- "The federal government is going to take care of... debris removal, cost of overtime and law enforcement, emergency service personnel and shelter," he added. "A lot of hard work is going to happen the next two or three months to bring it all the way back."
- Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D), speaking before Biden, said: “We’ve gone from looking for our dead to starting to haul away the death and destruction around us and the steps to start rebuilding have already begun.”
Driving the news: Tornadoes ripped through western Kentucky and five other states Friday into Saturday, killing more than 85 people and leaving a trail of destruction.
- Earlier Wednesday, as he received a briefing in Mayfield, Biden said he was impressed with how Kentucky residents continue to work together in the wake of tragedy: "There's no red tornadoes, there's no blue tornadoes." Following the briefing, he went on a walking tour of the town, stopping to speak with several residents.
- Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell and Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) traveled with the president.
- How to help tornado victims in Kentucky and other states
- What to know about December's deadly tornado outbreak
Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details throughout.