McConnell praises Biden for Kentucky disaster response

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky praised President Joe Biden on Monday for his disaster response to deadly tornadoes in his state over the weekend.

“I appreciate the Administration’s quick work to speed resources to help deal with this crisis,” McConnell tweeted with a copy of the letter Kentucky’s representatives sent to Biden requesting a disaster declaration, which Biden quickly granted.

The disaster declaration makes Kentucky residents and businesses eligible for temporary housing and home repair grants, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and for hazard mitigation measures across the state.

Kentucky hardest hit

Kentucky was the hardest-hit state of the six where tornadoes touched down Friday night and Saturday morning, and the death toll is 80 so far.

The town of Mayfield, population just over 10,000, was almost completely leveled, including the collapse of a candle factory where 105 employees were at work.

More deaths are expected as rescue crews continue to sift through the rubble in Kentucky and other states. Around 105 Kentucky residents are still missing on Monday.

Kentucky Governor Andrew Beshear (D) has ordered Kentucky’s flags to fly at half-staff until December 20 to honor the lives lost to this terrible natural disaster. He expects the death count to exceed 100.

Biden will visit damage

Biden is scheduled to visit damaged areas of Kentucky on Wednesday and is working with Beshear to ensure that he doesn’t get in the way of recovery efforts.

“We’re going to get this done. We’re going to be there as long as it takes to help,” he said. “Whatever they need when they need it.”

He suggested that climate change contributed to the extreme weather but stopped short of directly blaming the tornadoes on global warming.

“We can’t say it was with absolute certainty” that the tornadoes happened because of climate change, he said, but it “certainly is one of the worst disasters.”

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