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Biden Will Visit Florida Saturday to Survey Idalia’s Aftermath

(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden said he will visit Florida on Saturday to survey damage from Hurricane Idalia, after the Category 3 storm flooded towns across the state.

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Biden told reporters at the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington that he planned to make the trip on Saturday morning. The White House previously said Biden was planning to visit his vacation home in Rehoboth, Delaware, over the Labor Day weekend.

Biden was criticized by Republican presidential candidates — including former President Donald Trump — over his response to deadly wildfires in Maui earlier this month. Biden, who was also vacationing in Rehoboth in the immediate aftermath of the blaze, went days between speaking publicly about the disaster.

In Florida, Biden is likely to encounter one of the leading GOP presidential candidates, the state’s governor, Ron DeSantis. Biden said he had spoken with the governor for a third time on Thursday to assure him the federal government would continue to provide necessary resources to recover from the storm.

“Seems like we should be on direct dial, the two of us,” Biden said.

Biden also traveled to the state to tour damage with DeSantis after Hurricane Ian battered Florida last September.

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