President Biden praised relief workers for doing “God’s work” while visiting Houston on Friday in the wake of the deadly winter storm over Valentine’s Day weekend that still has tens of thousands of locals without safe water.
Biden’s trip to Texas marked his first to a major disaster area since taking office last month.
At the Harris County Emergency Operations Center, the president was briefed by acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton and state and local emergency management officials.
“Hell of an operation here. It’s probably the best one in the country,” Biden told staffers.
“You’re saving people’s lives. As my mother would say, you’re doing God’s work.”
Biden was joined at the operations center by Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. John Cornyn, both Republicans, four Democratic Houston-area members of Congress and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.
The Lone Star State’s other senator — Republican Ted Cruz, who sparked outrage by jetting to Cancun, Mexico, during the storm — skipped the event to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida.
Biden also toured the giant Houston Food Bank, where First Lady Jill Biden helped pack boxes with instant oats and canned peaches.
“We’re here to help, so put us to work!” she said after arriving.
President Joe Biden applauded relief workers for “saving people’s lives,” during his visit to Houston, Texas.AFP via Getty Images
Texas is solidly Republican, and a man holding a Trump flag was among the onlookers near the Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base when the Bidens got off Air Force One around 12:20 p.m. local time.
At the peak of the storm — which killed at least 40 people — more than 1.4 million residents were without power and 3.5 million were under boil-water notices in Harris County, the third-largest in the nation.
Mark Sloan, the county’s emergency management coordinator said that “57,000 residents still have to boil their water” for safety.
With Post wires