Marine One touched down on the South Lawn at 9:04 pm, by which time the light rain had subsided to a drizzle.
President Biden stepped off Marine One at 9:06 pm in the same blazer and tan slacks he wore on departure when he said I’m heading to Puerto Rico because they haven’t been taken very good care of.”
The first lady wore what looked like sneakers. They held hands as they walked into the White House, and seemed to be gingerly choosing steps to avoid mud or puddles.
The president did not stop or acknowledge shouted questions, on the Brazil election, North Korea and other topics not audible over the whine of the chopper.
The Bidens were inside at 9:07 pm.
Earlier today, in Puerto Rico, President Biden in a blue oxford shirt with open collar and khakis, took the stage and joked that he doesn’t want the headline to read “Biden brings storm to Puerto Rico,” as large, dark clouds hovered over him. Biden said he’s long felt an intense kinship with the people here, noting his many visits and the fact that he’s from a small and diverse state.
“We have a very, in relative terms, large Puerto Rican population in Delaware — relative to our population.”
Biden said, in a sense, he was raised politically in the Puerto Rican community.
“I was sort of raised in the Puerto Rican community at home politically,” he said.
Most of his remakes focused on what the administration is doing to help with the recovery.
“We’re going to make sure you get every single dollar promised,” Biden said, adding that he approved the first set of relief funding before the recent storm hit.
“Puerto Rico has been through so much in recent years: Hurricane Maria five years ago; a 6.4 magnitude earthquake two years ago. Folks slept outside for days worried about their homes would collapse on them if they went in. Then, COVID-19. And then, Fiona,” Biden said.
The President talked about the various other aid, and said many of the FEMA staff on the ground are Puerto Ricans who are helping their neighbors while also caring for their own families.
He spoke rapidly, as the clouds hung closer and thunder rolled while lightening struck far in the background. Biden said he is not leaving until the work here — “every single thing” — is done.
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