From Biden traveling to comfort families and thank first responders, to the indictment of the Trump Organization and CFO, here’s everything you need to know about Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s gaggle on July 1, 2021.
On Thursday, President Biden traveled to Surfside, Florida, to visit the scene of the tragic building collapse. This trip comes as we reach an official week since the building collapsed.
Sadly, the death toll has risen to 18, now including two young children, ages 4 and 10, leaving a total of 145 individuals still unaccounted for.
Today in Surfside, the President and First Lady will receive a command briefing from incident commander Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Governor DeSantis, and unified command on the current status of their search and rescue efforts and the federal state and local resources being deployed as part of the response.
Biden and the First Lady will then take the time to thank the “heroic first responders search and rescue teams and everyone who has been working around the clock for their tireless work,” said Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
They will also be meeting with the families of the victims of the building collapse. The President will “Offer them comfort during this unimaginable difficult time as search and rescue efforts continue,” said Jean-Pierre.
At the end of the day, Biden will deliver remarks on the tragedy, relaying how he and the nation stand with the families, survivors, and the federal government’s response efforts in coordination with state and local partners.
FEMA in Sunrise, Florida
This morning, FEMA deployed over 60 FEMA staff to support response efforts in Sunrise, Florida. Pierre announced FEMA “will also be deploying an additional personnel across five Urban Search and Rescue teams to assist with ongoing operation at the request of local officials.”
Each of the Urban Search and Rescue teams has 80 personnel. Two additional Urban and Rescue teams are on standby to rapidly deploy and provide relief to the first responders working tirelessly if needed.
Yesterday, FEMA awarded federal funding to the Florida division of emergency management for emergency protective measures.
“Given the circumstances and the unprecedented response underway led by the state by state and local officials, FEMA expedited this request for funding from the state,” said Jean-Pierre.
These funds will support the state and local governments’ ongoing un-budgeted cost to conduct rescue operations.
The additional federal funding support from FEMA is authorized under the emergency declaration, which the President approved to “coordinate disaster relief efforts, reimburse response costs, provide equipment and resources to assist with debris removal and emergency protective measures to try to save lives and to provide temporary shelter and housing to alleviate the hardship and suffering for those who have been displaced,” stated Pierre.
Last night, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST, announced they would be launching an investigation into why the 12-story building collapsed. Jean-Pierre stressed that Biden had expressed support for an official investigation.
Governor DeSantis also made clear that he does not expect Tropical Storm Elsa to impact the search and rescue efforts over the weekend.
However, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced today that search and rescue operations have temporarily stopped due to structural concerns.
Miami Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said there are “6 to 12 inches of movement and a large column hanging from the structure that could fall and cause damage to the support columns and the south terrain garage area.”
As of now, about 1,400 tons of debris have been removed from the site of the collapse.
Trump Organization and Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg indicted
On Thursday, CFO Allen Weisselberg, who has worked for Trump for many years, surrendered to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. This surrender comes ahead of expected criminal charges against him and the Trump Organization for alleged tax crimes.
A Manhattan grand jury filed the indictments yesterday and are expected to be unsealed today.
“The President believes and has made clear that it’s long past due for wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share, and he’s announced several initiatives to crack down on tax evasion by high-income individuals and big corporations,” said Jean-Pierre today in response to this news.
Pierre made it very clear that the Biden administration had no formal comment on the matter of the case at this time.