- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 29, 2021

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel Thursday to the site of a deadly condominium building collapse near Miami, the White House announced Tuesday.

Mr. Biden told reporters earlier in the day he expected the visit would happen this week

“Hopefully as early as Thursday,” Mr. Biden said in response to reporters’ questions as he walked toward Marine One.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that Mr. Biden will thank first responders and meet with victims’ families as well as ensure rescue workers have all the resources they need. 

Earlier in the week, Ms. Psaki said the president had no plans to travel to the disaster site because it would draw law enforcement resources away from search-and-rescue operations.

“In terms of a visit by the president, we always want to ensure that we’re not pulling from local resources. We don’t want to draw resources that are needed in the ongoing search and rescue operations,” Ms. Psaki said. “We will remain in close contact with officials on the ground.”

Ms. Psaki said the president backs a full federal investigation into the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, which killed at least 10 people has left more than 150 still missing.

“Certainly, we want to play any constructive role we can with federal resources in getting to the bottom of it and preventing it from happening in the future,” Ms. Psaki said Monday at a press briefing.

“The goal, of course, is to get to the bottom of what happened and, of course, have it be an instructive guide to prevent it from happening in the future,” she added.

Rescue workers have been searching around the clock in the building’s rubble to find survivors since it collapsed Thursday.

Among the federal agencies on the scene include the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the FBI.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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