Biden Visits Kentucky, Says Federal Government Will Cover Cleanup Costs For 30 Days

Screenshot The White House, Biden Delivers Remarks on his Administration’s Response to the Tornadoes & Extreme Weather

Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden visited Kentucky on Wednesday to survey the scene after tornadoes and storms caused death and destruction across multiple states.

The president, speaking in a destroyed neighborhood of Dawson Springs, Kentucky, described “the scope and scale of this destruction” as being “almost beyond belief.” He had spent an earlier part of the day walking through neighborhoods affected by the storms and speaking with residents who had lost everything.

“And you can see it in peoples’ faces, what they’re really looking for – and look around, I say to the press – is just to be able to put their head down on a pillow, be able to close their eyes, take a deep breath, go to sleep and make sure the kids are okay,” Biden said during his remarks. “That’s what people are looking for right now. A lot of hard work has to happen in the next two or three months to bring it all the way back.”

Biden brought up an amendment made Wednesday in the Kentucky disaster declaration, adding that he was unsure whether he had the authority to alter it. This change allows for the federal government to cover 100% of emergency work costs for 30 days, the president explained. The emergency work will cover anything from debris removal, paying emergency personnel overtime and shelter.

Earlier in the day, Biden attended a storm briefing with local leaders in Mayfield, Kentucky, and spent time touring parts of the state affected by the natural disaster. While touring a neighborhood there, Biden stopped at one point to speak with a woman sitting among a pile of rubble and bricks, with the roof of the building completely torn away. (RELATED: Severe Flooding In Tennessee Leaves At Least 22 Dead, 40 Others Missing)

“People just come out of nowhere to help as a community, and that’s what it’s supposed to be,” Biden said in Mayfield. “That’s what America’s supposed to be. There’s no red tornadoes or blue tornadoes. There’s no red states or blue states when this stuff starts to happen. And I think, at least it my experience, it either brings people together or really knocks them apart.”


He reiterated this praise during his remarks later in the day, calling the scenes of people helping out “incredible” and describing some of the destruction he had seen throughout the tours.

“This destruction is almost beyond belief. When you look around here, it is almost beyond belief. These tornados devoured everything in their path,” Biden said.

“Something good has to happen out of this. It just can’t be all bad. We gotta make it better,” he continued.

At least 74 people are dead in Kentucky with over 100 still unaccounted for as of Wednesday, according to WLKY. The storms also affected Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Illinois.