NATIONAL NEWS

Biden to tour tornado damage in Kentucky on Wednesday

Dec 13, 2021, 9:21 PM
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a briefing about the recent tornadoes in the Midwest in the ...
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a briefing about the recent tornadoes in the Midwest in the Oval Office of the White House December 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. More than 60 people were killed, and officials fear the number will grow after a series of tornadoes and severe storms made their way through several states in the Midwest over the weekend. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Monday that he will travel to Kentucky on Wednesday to view damage from last week’s devastating tornadoes that killed at dozens of people and displaced thousands more.

Biden announced the upcoming trip following a briefing with homeland security and disaster response officials in the Oval Office to discuss what more the federal government can do to support those affected by the natural disaster. The White House said he would visit Fort Campbell, Kentucky, for a briefing on the response operations, and then to hard-hit Mayfield and Dawson Springs to survey the damage.

Biden said he was developing the itinerary in consultation with local officials to ensure that his presence doesn’t distract from the ongoing emergency response.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that Biden is not expected to give a speech when he visits Kentucky, but will rather be focused on meeting with local officials and “trying to be a source of comfort to people who have gone through a devastating couple of days in their communities.”

“That visit is really about him receiving an update of the work that’s happening on the ground, hearing directly from leaders on what they need more from the federal government, if anything, and he’s going to be very responsive to that,” she said.

Biden, who has already signed emergency declarations for Kentucky, said he stands ready to do the same for Illinois. He added that he has ordered his administration to make every resource available to local and state officials in Kentucky and the other states impacted by the storms.

The president said his message to governors was that the federal government would help them get “Whatever they need, when they need it.”

“We’re going to get this done,” Biden added. “We’re going to be there as long as it takes to help.”

Speaking on the Senate floor, Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who hails from Kentucky, said, “This is the worst storm to hit Kentucky in my lifetime.” McConnell said he’ll travel “at the end of the week” back to Kentucky — an indication he would not be joining Biden’s trip Wednesday.

McConnell earlier Monday thanked Biden in a tweet for his actions to help the state.

“Thank you @POTUS for your rapid approval of Kentucky’s Major Disaster Declaration,” he said. “Our entire congressional delegation came together to support @GovAndyBeshear’s request. I appreciate the Administration’s quick work to speed resources to help deal with this crisis.”

Biden said he was worried, beyond the lives lost, about the emotional toll the disaster is putting on all those impacted.

“I worry quite frankly about the mental health of these people,” he said. He said his administration was working to help people gain “peace of mind” so that they can “actually put their head on a pillow, lie down and be able to know their kids are going to be okay.”

AP writers Lisa Mascaro and Alexandra Jaffe contributed.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Authorities stand guard by a fence outside the Supreme Court following Supreme Court's decision to ...
DÁNICA COTO and CARA ANNA Associated Press

US abortion ruling sparks global debate, polarizes activists

The end of constitutional protections for abortions in the United States has pemboldened abortion opponents around the world, while advocates of abortion rights worry the Supreme Court ruling could threaten recent moves toward legalization in their countries.
1 day ago
NASA's first spacecraft designed to study a metallic asteroid won't be launching this year as plann...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

NASA’s Psyche mission to an unexplored metal world comes to a halt

NASA's first spacecraft designed to study a metallic asteroid won't be launching this year as planned, according to an announcement made by the agency on Friday.
1 day ago
Meeting of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with representatives of foreign media. (Ukrainia...
Associated Press

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts
1 day ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Jacob King - WPA Pool/Getty Images)...
MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer

Moderna COVID-19 shots now an option for older kids in US

There is now a second COVID-19 option for kids ages 6 to 17 in the U.S.
1 day ago
Abortion-rights and Anti-Abortion rights activists fill first street in front of the U.S. Supreme C...
Cindy St. Clair

How abortion laws will change in states surrounding Utah

The Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health allows states to reshape abortion laws. Utah’s trigger law will restrict abortion in most cases. Here’s a look at what laws will look like in surrounding intermountain states.
1 day ago
A United Airlines plane lands at San Francisco International Airport on March 07, 2022 in San Franc...
DAVID KOENIG, AP Airlines Writer

Pilots in line for big raises amid global travel disruptions

The largest pilots union has approved a contract that would boost the pay of pilots at United Airlines by more than 14% over the next 18 months, potentially clearing the way for similar wage hikes throughout the industry.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Biden to tour tornado damage in Kentucky on Wednesday