President Biden Declares State of Emergency as Tropical Storm Ian Barrels Toward Florida

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Chip Somodevilla / Staff

On Saturday, President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency for Florida. The declaration comes as Tropical Storm Ian gained intensity and hurled toward the tropical state.

The President’s recent announcement comes after he postponed a trip to southern Florida. Biden was set to be in the sunshine state on Tuesday when he had plans to discuss health care in Fort Lauderdale. Afterward, he was set to attend a Democratic National Committee event in Orlando.

According to the White House, Biden’s state of emergency declaration will allow the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA to work side by side to decide where disaster relief efforts will go. It will also provide assistance.

Before the declaration came down, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a state of emergency. He also deployed the state’s National Guard earlier in the day as the hurricane strengthened.

According to meteorologists tracking the storm, Ian was expected to become a hurricane by Sunday. It will reportedly move over western Cuba on a path to Florida’s west coast by the middle of next week. As a result, the National Hurricane Center has encouraged Florida residents to be prepared with proper hurricane plans.

In addition, Hurricane Ian follows Hurricane Fiona. Fiona ripped through Puerto Rico before passing into Canada this weekend as a post-tropical cyclone.

President Biden awards Elton John with National Humanities Medal

On Friday, Joe Biden awarded Sir Elton John with the National Humanities Medal. He surprised the legendary icon following a performance on the South Lawn of the White House.

“I’m never flabbergasted, but I’m flabbergasted,” an emotional John said. He also thanked the President, saying he would “treasure” the honor.

According to the ceremony on Friday, the purpose of the medal was to honor John “for moving our souls with his powerful voice and one of the defining song books of all time. An enduring icon and advocate with absolute courage, who found purpose to challenge convention, shatter stigmas and advance the simple truth — that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Biden added that he and Jill Biden invited the “Rocket Man” singer to the White House to offer him thanks. The couple also praised the icon for his music and advocacy in the international fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

“As Jill just mentioned, we’re joined by so many people that … he’s set free to be themselves, to be treated with dignity and respect they deserve. Families and advocates in the fight against HIV/AIDS. A fight that he has led with sheer will, a​​​ fight for those lives lost and those lives we can save. Leaders standing up for equality of all people, no matter who you are, or who you love,” Biden said.