Wednesday 15 December 2021
Dozens dead in Kentucky
Biden takes a picture of the devastation caused by the hurricane
He came to listen: The US President visited those affected by devastating tornadoes in the particularly devastated town of Mayfield in Kentucky. It is mired in destruction and returns with long-term aid to the population.
After devastating tornadoes hit Kentucky and killed dozens, US President Joe Biden visited the disaster area. In the particularly affected town of Mayfield, Biden saw many homes damaged or destroyed and spoke to locals on a tour. He came to listen and make sure the local authorities had all the help available from the federal government. Biden promised that the government would provide long-term aid.
The president was immediately briefed by Governor Andy Beshear, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mallorcas and the head of the US Civil Protection Agency, Dean Cresswell, about the status of the rescue work and the extent of the devastation. Biden had previously flown over the disaster area in a helicopter to get an idea of the situation from the air. In the afternoon (local time), he wanted to visit Dawson Springs, which was also hit hard. A speech is also scheduled there afterwards.
Hurricanes wreaked havoc Saturday night. More than 70 people have been killed in Kentucky alone, and dozens are still missing today. Governor Bashir described it as “the worst damage imaginable from a hurricane”.
Biden had confirmed before his visit that he did not travel to the region immediately after the disaster so as not to get in his way. “The destruction is massive. I mean, there is nothing left,” he said. Homes or businesses were simply “eliminated”. This kind of tragedy either brings people together or brings them down. “There are no red or blue tornadoes,” Biden said, referring to the party colors of Republicans and Democrats, according to the Associated Press. In 2020, in conservative Kentucky, Trump garnered significantly more votes than Biden.
For the United States, this is the latest in a string of natural disasters. This year alone has seen many storms, floods and wildfires. Biden sees the accumulation and severity of disasters as a result of climate change, which has made disaster control one of his top priorities.