President To Visit Kentucky After Deadly Tornadoes

Monday, December 13th 2021, 2:40 pm


On Wednesday, President Joe Biden will visit two of the Kentucky towns that were decimated by tornadoes this past Friday night. The White House announced the president will travel to Ft. Campbell, where he’ll be briefed, before seeing the devastation in Mayfield and Dawson Springs firsthand.

At least 80 deaths have been attributed to the 30-plus tornadoes that touched down in several southern and midwestern states late Friday; at least 64 of the fatalities were in Kentucky.

Following a briefing from Homeland Security officials today, the president said his administration is committed to providing whatever federal help is needed for Kentuckians and others impacted to recover.

"With each passing day, the human impact of this devastation and the depth of losses," the president told reporters, "are becoming more and more apparent."

According to the White House Press Office, President Biden will fly to Fort Campbell, Kentucky in Wednesday, where he'll be briefed before going to survey the damage in Dawson Springs and Mayfield.

"This is a town with a relatively low average income of under $20,000 a year," said Biden, referring to Mayfield, "it’s a town that’s been wiped out, but it’s not the only town."

Asked whether he would use this disaster to urge Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to get behind his Build Back Better legislation and its goal of mitigating the effects of climate change, the president said he would not.

"We can't say with absolute certainty that it was because of climate change," President Biden responded. "There's a lot of things and we don't know for certain and I don't want to say anything that is not precisely true. What is certain. It is one of the worst tornado disasters in the country."

The president approved an emergency declaration for the state of Kentucky on Saturday and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts.

"FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment, and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding," the White House said in a statement.

Today the president said he is prepared to provide similar emergency assistance to the other states impacted by the tornadoes.