The White House has said Biden would survey storm damage and meet with state and local officials. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday that the President would travel to New Orleans and is expected to meet with Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, among other officials.
Ida’s damage didn’t stop in the Gulf and the Deep South.
In the last few days, the storm pummeled the East Coast, triggering flash floods and tornadoes across the Northeast. There have been at least 45 deaths in Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia caused by floods.
The Bush administration tapped the Strategic Petroleum Reserve after Hurricane Katrina caused severe damage to the energy industry. The Trump administration did the same after Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.
Managing hurricanes has become a key test for presidents seeking to convey competence. Previous storms, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Maria in 2017, have strained federal resources and reflected poorly on the White House.
The Biden White House has acknowledged it faces two, if not more, natural disasters exacerbated by climate change across the country.
Biden’s trip to Louisiana, his second to the state since coming into office, comes as he appears to face multiple domestic and international crises.
The visit to the Gulf is happening three days after the US’ full withdrawal from Afghanistan, a chaotic airlift operation that left Afghans and American service members dead. And the US also continues to contend with the coronavirus, the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant, and the pandemic’s impact on the economy.
Biden’s approval rating, meanwhile, is at its lowest point in his presidency.
CNN’s Kevin Liptak, Matt Egan, Madeline Holcombe and Dakin Andone contributed to this report.