DeSantis Continues To Assist In Recovery Efforts While Biden Comes To Florida For ‘Photo Op’
Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, center, and Casey DeSantis, Florida's first lady, left, pray during a visit after Hurricane Idalia in Horseshoe Beach, Florida, US, on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023. Florida has started to dig out from the aftermath of Idalia, which weakened to a tropical storm even as it brought heavy rain across Georgia and the Carolinas, caused billions of dollars in damage, left hundreds of flights grounded and thousands without power.
Eva Marie Uzcategui / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continued to lead recovery efforts in Florida’s Big Bind over the weekend after it was hit by near-Category 4 Hurricane Idalia last week.

DeSantis, who is also running for president, stepped off the campaign trail last week to focus on leading his state’s response to the hurricane.

The governor met with large numbers of residents on Saturday in areas that had been impacted to find out what they needed from the state and to serve food to those communities.

President Joe Biden visited the state for what many conservatives said online was a “photo-op” in an apparent attempt to show that he pays attention to major disasters in the U.S. after he was widely criticized for his weak response to the historic fire in Maui last month. The president was also criticized over his refusal to visit East Palestine after the town was devastated by a train derailment in February that polluted the environment and contaminated the water.


“As I’ve told your governor, if there’s anything your state needs, I’m ready to mobilize that support,” Biden said. “Anything they need related to these storms. Your nation has your back and we’ll be with you until the job is done.’’

DeSantis’ team said on Friday that the governor would not meet with Biden and suggested that he should not visit the affected area because the security precautions that the Secret Service would have to take would shut down recovery efforts.

“We don’t have any plans for the Governor to meet with the President tomorrow,” DeSantis Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern said in a statement. “In these rural communities, and so soon after impact, the security preparations alone that would go into setting up such a meeting would shut down ongoing recovery efforts.”

Biden said at the press conference in Florida that DeSantis directed him to go to “where would be the least disruption.”

Related: Trump Repeatedly Attacks DeSantis While He Manages Florida Hurricane Response

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