Biden uses cheat sheet with names and photos of officials as he travels to Louisiana to visit Hurricane Ida damage
Cameras picked up a particular piece of paper from Joe Biden’s pocket as the US president arrived to offer support to the hurricane-ravaged south.
President Joe Biden was seen pocketing a cheat sheet of local officials and their photos with scripted talking points as he visited Ida’s damage in Louisiana on Friday.
After Biden landed at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans on Friday, a cheat sheet containing the names and likenesses of the officials came out of his back pants pocket.
The President was greeted on the tarmac with a welcome party that included Democratic Governor John Edwards and Republican Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, The New York Post reported.
Among the names and images on the paper cheat sheet were New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Jefferson Ward President Cynthia Lee Sheng.
Biden also had a typed talking point script in his pocket.
He was later also greeted by Republican Minority House Whip Steve Scalise.
âThis storm has been incredible, not only here but across the entire east coast,â Biden said when he sat at a panel discussion with officials.
âI know you must be frustrated with the power being restored,â he said, explaining that the federal government was working tirelessly to restore power with state power companies and providing generators.
He swore Louisiana wouldn’t be abandoned.
âI promise that we will support you until this thing is done,â he said.
âAnd so, I’m mainly here to listen and see what you think. “
The president shook hands, kissed and counseled locals while inspecting the widespread wreckage in LaPlace, Louisiana, a small community about 35 miles west of New Orleans.
It suffered from extreme flooding and storm damage.
Biden also visited other communities ravaged by Ida, including Laffite, Grand Isle, Port Fourchon and Lafourche Parish, before connecting with local leaders in Galliano, Louisiana, the White House said.
At LaPlace, Biden saw with his own eyes fallen power lines, uprooted trees, and homes in rubble.
“I’m walking in the backyards here – so many phone lines are down, so many telephone poles are down, so much – the way we carry energy is wasted on the old wooden telephone pole. Biden, alluding to his hope of improving the nation’s grid by forcing Congress to pass his infrastructure bills.
The 46th President visited Louisiana as large areas of the state left 1 million people without power or 600,000 without water following the devastation of Hurricane Ida that made landfall on August 19 as category 4 storm.
He met with Governor John Bel Edwards and various local officials as his presidency is tested in the United States, following the fallout from the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan on August 31, where 13 US soldiers died in a terrorist explosion by ISIS.
Ida is now billed as the fifth strongest hurricane to hit the country after passing through southern Louisiana and shredding man-made structures and causing more stress caused by scorching heat.
The hurricane ravaged the Gulf Coast, then set ablaze in the north, crippling the east coast and mid-Atlantic states.
Bands of rain from the storm on Wednesday caused biblical flash floods in New York City, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Ida claimed nine lives in Louisiana and at least 49 others have died in the northeast.
According to utility Entergy Corp, the number of Louisiana homes and businesses still without power fell to about 823,000 on Friday, as the company confirmed it had restored service to about 225,000 customers, according to Reuters.
As Biden walked through storm-punished Louisiana communities, the New York City area was still drenched in the downpour Ida had delivered.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy confirmed on Friday that six people were still missing.
“We still weren’t out of the woods,” he told the Today Show, fearing the death toll was likely to climb higher.
“We’re going to clean up … but it’s going to be a long road.”
Governor Edwards provided Biden with a long list of vital needs that include a reserve of fuel deliveries since the state’s refining capacity was disconnected and mile-long lines meandered around stations- emergency supply service and distribution centers.
Biden again pushed to pass his infrastructure bills during his visit, suggesting there had to be a massive investment in underground power lines to prevent a repeat of Hurricane Ida.
âWe know that if it’s underground it will cost a lot more money. But guess what, it saves a lot more money in the long run, âhe said.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and has been republished with permission