President Joe Biden in Puerto Rico on Monday to survey the damage from Hurricane Fiona, which hit the island as a Category 1 storm on Sept. 18, causing widespread power outages and leaving large parts of the island without water.

In accordance with Puerto Rico Department of Health, 13 storm-related deaths were confirmed on the island. Mr. Biden was briefed before his speech on Monday afternoon in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi said Puerto Ricans deserve to be treated like all other Americans during the crisis.

“In a word, my request to you, Mr. President, is simple,” said the governor. “We want to be treated the same as our fellow Americans back home in their time of need. All American citizens, regardless of where they live in the United States, should receive equal support from the federal government. We are confident that the President will heed our call for equal treatment because it is in line with his priorities and policies.”

The president said Puerto Rico has been through so much in just a few years, from hurricanes to pandemics.

“You’ve had to endure as much and more than you should and you didn’t get timely help,” Mr. Biden complained in his speech. “And this last storm dealt a major blow to everything, all the hard work that was done after Maria.”

The president described everything the federal government has done and is doing to help Puerto Ricans in the wake of Fiona, from search and rescue efforts to power restoration.

“However, we must do more. We have to make sure that when the next hurricane hits, Puerto Rico will be ready,” Mr. Biden said as he announced $60 million from a bipartisan infrastructure bill to make the island more resilient to storms.

This $60 million will, among other things, go toward strengthening levees and flood walls.

“We’re not going to leave here as long as I’m president, until everything, I mean that sincerely, until everything we can do is done,” Mr. Biden said, concluding his remarks.

The president also meets with families and community leaders who are helping to rebuild the island.

He will return to the White House on Monday evening.

“I’m going to Puerto Rico because they haven’t been taken care of very well,” Mr. Biden told reporters before leaving the White House for the island. “They’ve been trying like hell to catch up since the last hurricane. I want to see where things are today and make sure we’re doing our best.”

FEMA Administrator Dina Criswell, who was recently on the ground in Florida to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Jan, and First Lady Jill Biden joined Mr. Biden.

President Joe Biden salutes as First Lady Jill Biden waves before boarding Air Force One for a trip to Puerto Rico to survey damage from Hurricane Fiona, Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP

Mr. Biden also plans to travel to Florida on Wednesday to assess the damage from Hurricane Ian. which hit the west coast of the state last week as a powerful Category 4 storm. As of Monday, the official death toll from Ian in Florida stood at 58, but CBS News contacted local sheriff’s offices, and their records show that at least 82 people have died as a result of the hurricane, either directly or partially.

Sarah Cook and Christine Brown contributed to this report.