President Biden on Thursday pledged to pick up the cost of search and rescue efforts in Surfside, Florida over the next 30 days, following the deadly condo collapse last week.
Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrived in Florida one week after the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo complex. The president met with rescue workers and local leadership as they continue searching the rubble for survivors.
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During a press briefing, Biden said that he believes he "can do" more to help, including picking up costs.
"I think I have the power – we’ll know shortly – to be able to pick up 100% for the county and state over the next 30 days," Biden said. "I think I’m quite sure I can do that, so we’re going to do that."
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava briefed Biden on how the search and rescue operations have progressed: The death toll has risen to 18 people, with 145 people still unaccounted for.
Biden touted the meeting as a chance to show the nation "we can cooperate," praising the bipartisan nature of the response.
"That’s really important," Biden said. The president has received regular updates on the building collapse and earlier this week sent FEMA administrators to tour the site with DeSantis.
Rescue operations were halted Thursday over "concerns about the standing structure."
Fox News' Greg Norman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.