U.S. President Donald Trumpsaid on Saturday that he will ask the Republican-controlled Congress to further speed up its efforts to overhaul the U.S. tax code, citing the potential impact of Hurricane Irma as a reason to hasten reforms.
"Hurricane Irma looks like it is going to be a really bad one", Mr. Trump said at a meeting of top Cabinet officials meeting at Camp David.
Hurricane Irma had already reached Category 5 status by Tuesday and although meteorologists do not know what the storm will do in the coming days, Samaritan's Purse said they could have hundreds of volunteers on location very quickly.
But Trump got back on track, issuing his video warning people in Irma's path to get out now.
Trump's properties - Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter and Trump National Doral in Miami - could all be impacted by the storm if it travels along its predicted trajectory.
The White House said Trump's briefing included an update on Irma's status, forecasted path, evacuations and preparations for response and recovery. "And we may not be able to come rescue them in a timely manner", she said in comments on Facebook.
The link between climate change and this year's catastrophic hurricane activity is uncertain, but scientists say the rising temperature of ocean water makes storms stronger.
Donald Trump's beachfront resort Mar-a-Lago in Florida is bracing itself for a direct hit from Hurricane Irma. He said Irma was unsafe and life-threatening.
If I were to go to an insurance company and say that my house was devastated, "You owe me the full amount of my policy".
But in a tweet later Friday night, Trump raised concerns with a long-standing policy that prevents Fema from providing grants to houses of worship that are damaged by hurricanes and other natural disasters. The county said the first tropical storm-force winds were expected to arrive on the island on Saturday afternoon.
"This continues to be a very unsafe storm", Pence said, calling Irma a hurricane of "epic proportions".
The new Russian ambassador to the US said he met Trump and that the president greeted him in a "warm and friendly way".