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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.
President Biden speaks with a resident as he tours storm damage in Mayfield, Ky. on Dec. 15. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
Biden visits Dawson Springs, Ky. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
President Biden embraces a resident as he tours storm damage in Dawson Springs, Ky. on Dec. 15. Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty images
President Biden tours storm damage in Dawson Springs, Ky. on Dec. 15. Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty images
Tornado track across southwest Kentucky seen from a satellite. Photo: NASA Earth Observatory

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details throughout.

Go deeper

Biden's epic failures

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

In the two months since signing the $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law, President Biden has by almost every measure bombed big time on the things that matter most.

The big picture: Biden, who marks one year in office next Thursday, has never been less popular nationally, after personally lobbying his party and the public on Build Back Better and voting rights — and failing.

Why the Fed might want to jolt the markets

Fed chair Jerome Powell at a hearing earlier this month. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

So far, financial markets are cooperating nicely with the Federal Reserve's efforts to restrain inflation. They're doing the Fed's work for it by creating tighter financial conditions, in a distinctly non-panicky way.

  • But as the central bank's policymakers meet this week, an underlying question they face is whether the adjustment is happening too slowly.
Kate Marino, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Omicron outbreaks were bad for business in January

Data: New York Federal Reserve Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

Emerging anecdotal evidence shows just how hard the recent rise in COVID-19 cases hit businesses in early January — but that hasn't hurt some business leaders’ longer-term views of their companies' prospects.

Why it matters: Increasingly, the economic recovery has come in fits and starts that move in tandem with new peaks in cases. Look no further than the thousands of canceled flights and shuttered Broadway theaters in the wake of the Omicron variant's spread over the last few months.