(LEX 18) — Five days after he issued a disaster declaration for Kentucky, President Joe Biden saw firsthand the devastation caused by the tornadoes, but he also witnessed the resilience and strength of Kentuckians.
"There's no red tornadoes or blue tornadoes. There are no red states or blue states when this stuff starts to happen. And I think, at least in my experience, it either brings people together or really knocks them apart. We're moving together here," said President Biden.
The federal government will have to be a crucial part of that process, having already sent 61 generators, 144 thousand liters of drinking water, and 74 thousand meals.
"And to all the families here, keep the faith. We're gonna get this done. I promise you, the governor's not walking away, your county judge is not walking away, your congressman is not walking away. No one is walking away. We're in this for the long haul," said President Biden.
Walking through neighborhoods that have been reduced to rubble, Biden joined the Beshears, Congressman James Comer, and others in comforting and praying with the survivors.
More than 70 people in Kentucky have died in the tornadoes, many of them in Mayfield and Dawson Springs, where the president visited.
During his visit Wednesday, the president announced the federal government will cover 100% of cleanup costs in western Kentucky for 30 days.
"People talk about post traumatic stress on the battlefields. I traveled through Afghanistan and Iraq. Well, guess what. There's a lot of post traumatic stress that comes from lying in your house and all of a sudden the roof goes blowing off and you're wondering whether your kids are around."
The president says this disaster reminds him of something his mother used to say: "Out of everything terrible, something good will happen."
While the emotional and physical anguish may feel overwhelming, he vows there will be a time to heal, a time to recover, and a time to rebuild. And that something good will happen.