President Joe Biden is reportedly planning to leave for a family vacation in the Virgin Islands on Tuesday despite the fact that most of the U.S. was being hit by a severe winter storm that has caused record-breaking cold, dozens of deaths, widespread power outages and thousands of cancelled flights during Christmas week.
Biden and his family will be leaving for St. Croix on Tuesday evening, and plan to stay on the island for the remainder of the week to celebrate New Year’s Day.
While the Biden family plans their luxury vacation, Americans are struggling to deal with the effects of what has been described as a “once in a generation” winter storm. More than 50 people have died across the U.S. as a result of the storm, as a bomb cyclone of Arctic air caused freezing temperatures and widespread power outages across the country.
The city of Buffalo, New York, was one of the hardest hit, as 43 inches of snow fell over the weekend. As of Tuesday morning, the death toll in Buffalo had reached 27.
Biden reportedly spoke with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on the phone after she personally visited Buffalo to view the damage caused by the storm.
Buffalo Police, Buffalo Fire, & @nyspolice worked through the holiday weekend to help motorists caught in the storm & residents in need of medical attention.
We’re incredibly grateful for their service — & to all the heroes helping keep New Yorkers safe during this blizzard. pic.twitter.com/MVNbkEUmuw
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) December 26, 2022
While Biden has been kept out of the view of the public for the majority of Christmas weekend, the White House has been posting staged photos of the president on Twitter to show that he is still supposedly working. On Christmas Eve, the White House shared images of Joe and Jill Biden decorating a tree and making phone calls amid news reports that the president had skipped the annual tradition of making NORAD Santa calls to children.
Now, the White House has shared a photo of the president talking on the phone at his desk.
“My heart is with those who lost loved ones this holiday weekend. You are in my and Jill’s prayers,” the post from Biden’s official Twitter account read as the president prepared to leave for his vacation.
“We stand ready to make sure they have the resources they need to get through this,” the post continued.
I spoke with @GovKathyHochul to get an update on the extreme winter weather hitting New York. We stand ready to make sure they have the resources they need to get through this.
My heart is with those who lost loved ones this holiday weekend. You are in my and Jill’s prayers. pic.twitter.com/Lt6eZ1YJR5
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 26, 2022