US President Joe Biden was caught in an awkward moment after he forgot to speak about the tragic South Florida condo collapse during a press conference at the White House on Thursday. It was only after Vice President Kamala Harris reminded him that Biden spoke about the fatal tragedy.
One person died while 99 people are feared missing after an upscale multi-storey apartment complex collapsed in the dead of night in Surfside, in Florida's Miami. Local authorities said the collapsed building is the 12-storey Champlain Towers South Condo on Collins Avenue in Surfside, just north of Miami Beach.
Biden Thanks Harris For 'Reminding' Him
The embarrassing incident took place towards the end of the impromptu press conference called by Biden to announce his agreement to a new infrastructure deal with a bipartisan group of senators.
Trying to wrap up the press conference after saying "I've got to get to a helicopter", Biden is seen leaving the stage when Harris approaches from behind and whispers something into Biden's ears.
The New York Post reported that the brief exchange ended with Harris saying, "Florida, yeah."
Biden then turns back to the microphone and while chuckling nervously says, "Oh, yes. I apologize. Yes, thank you, Madame Vice President." He then proceeds to speak about the condo collapse.
Biden Assures of Federal Aid
Stating that federal aid would be sent to the site if it was required, Biden said, "We are on top of it. We are ready to move, from the federal resources, immediately — immediately, if in fact we're asked for it ... FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] is down there taking a look at what's needed, including from, everything from — if the rest of those buildings have to be evacuated as well; finding housing for those people; making sure they have the capacity to both have a place to — to shelter, and food to eat, etc."
Claiming that he was waiting on a formal request from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the US President added, "I made it clear that I say to the people of Florida: Whatever help you want that the federal government can provide, we're waiting. Just ask us; we'll be there. We'll be there."