President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visited Houston to check on the state’s recovery from the winter storms. The President and First Lady toured the damage with Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The visit to Harris County was the president’s first trip to a major disaster site since he took office.
Joe Biden busy bombing Syria while Americans suffer
Severe winter weather across the South over Valentine’s Day weekend battered multiple states, with Texas bearing the brunt of unseasonably frigid conditions that caused widespread power outages and frozen pipes that burst and flooded homes. Millions of residents lost heat and running water.
At least 40 people in Texas died as a result of the storm and, although the weather has returned to more normal temperatures, more than 1 million residents were still under orders to boil water before drinking it.
Biden visited a food bank and met with local leaders to discuss the storm, relief efforts and progress toward recovery.
While in Houston, the Democratic president also visited a mass coronavirus vaccination center run by the federal government. Biden on Thursday commemorated the 50 millionth COVID-19 vaccination since he took office, halfway toward his goal of 100 million shots by his 100th day in office. That celebration followed a moment of silence to mark the passage earlier this week of 500,000 U.S. deaths blamed on the disease.
New photos reportedly show aftermath of Biden’s Syria strike. 22 Syrians killed. pic.twitter.com/RbzE36yfEO
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Democrats are putting America last again
The post-storm debate in Texas has centered on the state maintaining its own electrical grid and lack of storm preparation, including weatherization of key infrastructure. Some state officials initially blamed the blackouts on renewable energy even though Texas is a heavy user of fossil fuels like oil and gas. The White House said Biden’s purpose in visiting would be to support, not scold.
“The president doesn’t view the crisis and the millions of people who’ve been impacted by it as a Democratic or Republican issue,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday. “He views it as an issue where he’s eager to get relief, to tap into all the resources in the federal government, to make sure the people of Texas know we’re thinking about them, we’re fighting for them and we’re going to continue working on this as they’re recovering.”
Psaki said policy discussions about better weatherization and preparation could come later, “but right now, we’re focused on getting relief to the people of the state.”
Biden has declared a major disaster in Texas and asked federal agencies to identify additional resources to aid the recovery. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has sent emergency generators, bottled water, ready-to-eat meals and blankets.