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Joe and Jill Biden visit a photo wall, the 'Surfside Wall of Hope & Memorial', near the partially collapsed condo building on July 1. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden spoke Thursday evening after meeting with the families of Surfside victims, who he said are "going through hell," as search efforts continue at the site of the condo collapse.

Driving the news: Biden said the families are "realistic" and understand the chances of their loved ones being found alive are increasingly slim.

  • "They're all realists. They all look and they see those floors, just, literally, cement upon cement upon cement," Biden said.
  • "They know that the chances are, as each day goes by, diminished slightly. But at a minimum, at a minimum, they want to recover the bodies. They want to recover the bodies.”
  • "Jill and I wanted them to know that we're with them. The country is with them. Our message today is that we're here for you, as one nation. As one nation."

Biden added that the administration would be coving 100% of the cost of the first 30 days of the search-and-rescue efforts. In addition, the administration is expediting visas for family members abroad in "Latin America, South America, Europe and Israel.”

Of note: Biden also took time to thank Florida state officials, FEMA, and the first responders on site.

  • "There's no disagreement, no bickering. Everybody's on the same team. It's what America's all about...there's no Democrat or Republican out there, just people wanting to do the right thing for their fellow Americans."
  • “I want to compliment FEMA, and I might add, all those folks risking their lives to save lives, but also holding out hopes that those will be found. Hope springs eternal.”

The big picture: Of the collapse, Biden said there is no “firm proof” yet what caused the building that this, as well as the safety of the remaining structure, still needs to be determined.

  • Biden added that many of the families spoke of their concerns of their building "moving and shaking" due to nearby constructions, and that many expressed concerns about the impact of global warming.
  • "I don't think there is at this point any definitive judgement as to why it collapsed and what can be done to prevent it from happening, and what other buildings may have to be inspected to determine if they have the same problems," Biden said.

Following Biden's remarks, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava confirmed at a press conference that search-and-rescue efforts have resumed at the site after pausing in the early morning hours due to structural concerns.

  • Levine Cava noted that access to the site is still restricted due to "ongoing safety concerns about the integrity of the building" but work is being done to expand the search zone.
  • Plans are also proceeding for the possible demolition of the remaining structure, Levine Cava added.

State of play: 18 people have been confirmed dead and as many as 145 people remain missing. Levine Cava noted that 17 families of the deceased have been notified thus far.

Go deeper: Biden visits Surfside as search efforts paused over "structural concerns"

Go deeper

Biden's reengineer-America moment

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Senate's bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and President Biden's $3.5 trillion spending package could live or die this week — and take Democrats' fortunes with them. But all the minute-by-minute political drama obscures how much America could change if even a fraction of it passes.

The big picture: Anything short of total failure could have a transformative impact on day-to-day life — from how we move around to our access to the internet, paid family leave and child care, health care and college.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO sees making own chips as a matter of national security

Pat Gelsinger. Photo: Axios on HBO

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is putting the pressure on the U.S. government to help subsidize chip manufacturing, insisting the current reliance on plants in Taiwan and Korea as "geopolitically unstable."

Why it matters: There is bipartisan support for funding the domestic semiconductor industry, but Congress has yet to sign the check. The Senate has passed the CHIPS Act that includes $52 billion in semiconductor investment, but it has yet to pass the House.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children are among a group of 17 missionaries kidnapped in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, per a statement from Christian Aid Ministries Sunday.

The latest: "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children," the Ohio-based group said. Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne on Sunday identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.