Biden Meets With Families of Surfside Victims

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U.S.|Biden meets with families of victims successful Surfside: ‘We’re present for you arsenic 1 nation.’

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/01/us/biden-surfside-miami-victims.html

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Biden Speaks About Meeting Surfside Condo Victims

President Biden talked connected Thursday astir gathering with some survivors of the condominium gathering illness and relatives of those who died oregon stay missing.

The full federation is mourning with these families. They spot it each time connected television. They’re going done hell, and those who survived the collapse, arsenic good arsenic those who are missing loved ones. I sat with 1 pistillate who had conscionable mislaid her, her hubby and her small babe boy. Didn’t cognize what to do. I sat with different household that mislaid astir an full family, cousins, brothers, sisters, and to ticker them, their praying and pleading that God, fto determination beryllium a miracle. Let determination beryllium thing hap for maine that’s good. They had basal heart- wrenching questions. Will I beryllium capable to retrieve the assemblage of my lad oregon daughter, my husband, my cousin, my ma and dad? How tin I person closure without being capable to hide them? If I don’t get the body, what bash I do? Jill and I privation them to cognize that we’re with them. And the country’s with them. Our connection contiguous is that we’re present for you arsenic 1 nation. When I speech to immoderate of the families, some, immoderate of the radical who did escape, survived, got out, they talked astir watching the gathering collapse, and watching arsenic they’re successful the garage, 1 level travel down, virtually arsenic a full level connected apical of different floor. They cognize that the chances are, arsenic each time goes by, diminished slightly. But astatine a minimum, astatine a minimum, they privation to retrieve the bodies.

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President Biden talked connected Thursday astir gathering with some survivors of the condominium gathering illness and relatives of those who died oregon stay missing.CreditCredit...Tom Brenner for The New York Times

SURFSIDE, Fla. — President Biden connected Thursday offered impassioned remarks successful a edifice ballroom filled with the families of immoderate of those who died oregon stay missing nether the rubble of a collapsed condominium building, according to White House officials and those successful the room.

Mr. Biden’s gathering with the families, which officials said lasted astir 3 hours, came during a halt successful the hunt for survivors amid concerns astir the stableness of the portion of the gathering that remains standing.

A video of Mr. Biden posted during the lawsuit by 1 of the household members appeared to amusement the president talking successful somber tones astir the grief helium felt from the decease of his woman and girl successful a car mishap that besides severely injured his 2 young boys.

“The waiting, the waiting, is unbearable,” helium told the families, galore of whom person been waiting for much than a week for connection astir whether anyone mightiness inactive beryllium live nether the factual and steel.

After the meeting, Mr. Biden described the grief and agony helium heard from the household members, saying of the radical successful the room: “They’re going done hell.”

“I sat with 1 pistillate who had conscionable mislaid her hubby and her small babe boy, didn’t cognize what to do,” the president said. “I sat with different household that mislaid astir the full family, cousins, brothers, sisters. And to ticker them, and they’re praying and pleading and God fto determination beryllium a miracle.”

Mr. Biden said that galore of the household members asked what helium called “basic heart-wrenching” questions: Would they beryllium capable to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones truthful they could hide them? If I don’t get the assemblage back, what bash I do?

But astatine the aforesaid time, helium said helium was amazed by their realism and resilience.

“They cognize that the chances are, arsenic each time goes by, diminished slightly,” the president told reporters. “But astatine a minimum, astatine a minimum, they privation to retrieve the bodies. They privation to retrieve the bodies.”

The president praised exigency workers and section and authorities officials, saying that the practice successful the rescue effort was remarkable. Mr. Biden announced that the national authorities would wage 100 percent of the archetypal 30 days of the betterment costs.

He said helium told the families that “we’re present for you arsenic 1 nation, arsenic 1 nation. And that’s the connection we communicated.”

A White House authoritative said that during the closed-door league with the families, Mr. Biden walked from array to array to speech with each household seated successful the room. The authoritative said that Jill Biden, the archetypal lady, besides held idiosyncratic conversations with household members.

The president was joined by Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Rick Scott, Gov. Ron DeSantis, Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami Dade County.

The authoritative said that Mr. Biden stayed successful the country until everyone who wanted to speech with him had the opportunity.

After the gathering with the families, Mr. Biden and Dr. Biden made a little halt astatine the makeshift memorial to the victims of the collapse, walking on a chain-link obstruction adorned with flowers, stopping respective times to look intimately astatine photos of those who person died oregon stay missing.

Dr. Biden placed a ample bouquet of achromatic flowers astatine the basal of the obstruction earlier the brace returned to the president’s motorcade.

Erick de Moura, a nonmigratory of the gathering who spent the nighttime of the illness astatine his girlfriend’s house, praised Mr. Biden arsenic helium and different survivors and victims’ families near the ballroom astatine the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort.

“For him to instrumentality his clip similar he’s taking close present conscionable walking astir and talking to each azygous family, it’s conscionable an astonishing enactment and we admit it precise much. It’s comforting for us,” Mr. de Moura said.

Rabbi Daniel Hadar, the caput rabbi of Temple Moses Sephardic Congregation of Florida, an Orthodox synagogue successful Miami Beach, said that the code of the gathering signaled a displacement from different meetings with families implicit the past week. Over a twelve radical affiliated with the synagogue, conscionable a mates of miles from Champlain Towers, were successful the gathering astatine the clip of the collapse.

“There was thing for the archetypal clip I’m seeing: consolation,” said Rabbi Hadar. Whereas successful erstwhile meetings with officials, Hadar has seen families person expressed choler and vexation with the rescue process, families expressed “peace and appreciation.”

“I deliberation a batch of radical are either resigning themselves, oregon knowing that determination is hope, and the champion anticipation is to enactment with these guys and to perceive what they person to say,” Rabbi Hadar added.

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