Governor Ron DeSantis does not plan to meet with President Joe Biden while he is in areas hit by Hurricane Idalia.
The DeSantis camp claims that setting up a meeting during the cleanup would be too difficult, but Biden will visit the areas of Florida that Idalia’s wind and water affected the most on Saturday.
Jeremy Redfern, a spokesman for DeSantis, said, “In these rural communities, and so soon after the impact, the security preparations alone that would be needed to set up such a meeting would stop ongoing recovery efforts.”
This is different from what Biden told reporters, which was that he would meet with the governor of Florida during his trip.
The president told the press about his plans to go during a news conference at the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington, D.C.
“We need this request for disaster relief to be met by September,” Biden said.
Biden said that he had talked to DeSantis earlier to get his approval for a big disaster declaration. He also talked to the governors of Georgia and the Carolinas, which were also affected by Idalia.
DeSantis, who is running for president as a Republican in 2024, said that Idalia’s damage and loss of life were not as bad as Hurricane Ian, which killed 149 people in the state when it hit the heavily crowded Fort Myers area.
Idalia hit land early Wednesday morning in the Big Bend region as a Category 3 storm with winds of up to 125 mph. It destroyed homes, ripped off roofs, broke tall trees, and turned streets into rivers.
As it moved north, it got weaker and became a tropical storm. It hit Georgia and the Carolinas, killing at least one person.