President Joe Biden visited Houston with First Lady Jill Biden on Friday to meet with officials and aid workers following last week’s devastating snowstorm.
During his visit, Biden stopped by the Houston Food Bank and traveled to the Harris County Emergency Operations Center where he met with Harris County Judge Linda Hidalgo.
Hidalgo told Biden the center has been a “home away from home” for her and county emergency workers who slept in the building and coordinated support for residents, 1.5 million of which were without power and 3.5 million without water during the height of the crisis.
“It’s a hell of an operation. It’s probably the best one in the country,” Biden said.
Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd said recovery efforts were still ongoing, including 4,600 schools with broken pipes across 700 districts in the state.
“Mr. President, I know we can get through this together and we’ve just got to keep going,” he said.
Biden also toured the new FEMA vaccine supersite at NRG Stadium.
In his speech at NRG, Joe Biden said the White House would be a partner to Texas in the state’s recovery. He said FEMA and local military bases were continuing to distribute aid and generators.
“We’re not here today as Democrats or Republicans,” Biden said. “Were here today as Americans.”
Commending the vaccine FEMA supersite at NRG, he said that his promise to see 100 million vaccines administered within the first 100 days of his presidency was halfway to being accomplished. Officials say the NRG vaccine site is capable of vaccinating 6,000 people per day seven days a week.
The trip marks Biden’s first visit to Texas as president. His visit comes during the second day of hearings in the Texas Legislature that continue to hear from state agencies and power companies about the failure of the electrical grid.
More than three dozen Texans died as a result of the snowstorm, although more victims are still being discovered.
Photo: The White House / Wikimedia Commons
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org