President Joe Biden has no plans to visit the families of victims from last month’s Christmas parade attack in Waukesha, Wisconsin, which left six people dead and over 60 others injured.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked last week why Biden had not visited Waukesha after a 39-year-old man allegedly drove his SUV through barricades and into a crowd of people attending the parade on Nov. 21.
“Well, I would say first, as you saw the president convey last week, our hearts go out to this community, to the people in Waukesha; that we’ve been in touch, obviously, with officials there; and we’re all watching as people are recovering,” Psaki said.
“And this is such a difficult time of year for this to happen. It’s difficult anytime. Obviously, any president going to visit a community requires a lot of assets, requires taking their resources, and it’s not something that I have a trip previewed at this ... point in time, but we remain in touch with local officials.”
Psaki concluded, “And certainly, our hearts are with the community as they’ve gone through such a difficult time.”
Authorities allege that Darrell Brooks Jr. intentionally ran over people with his vehicle after fleeing a domestic disturbance nearby.
“We’re confident he acted alone,” stated Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson during a press conference. Thompson said all evidence suggests that “This is not a terrorist event.”
Those who died in the attack included 8-year-old Jackson Sparks, 79-year-old Virginia Sorenson, 71-year-old LeAnna Owen, 52-year-old Tamara Durand, 52-year-old Jane Kulich and 81-year-old Wilhelm Hospel.
Sparks death was announced by his family’s congregation, LifePoint Church of Mukwonago.
A GoFundMe campaign has raised nearly $472,000 as of Monday afternoon to support the Sparks family as they face mounting medical expenses.
The campaign page states that Tucker Sparks, Jackson’s brother, suffered road rash and a fractured skull.
“Tucker, by the grace of God is miraculously recovering from his injuries and will be being discharged home," the campaign explains. "Our dear Jackson has sadly succumbed to his injuries and passed away.”
At least 16 children were admitted to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin after being injured at the parade, the hospital announced. Initially, six children were in critical condition, three in fair condition and four in good condition. The hospital stated last Wednesday that five children were still being cared for in the Milwaukee hospital, four of which were in fair condition and one in serious condition.
“It is important for the community to understand that while the medical conditions of the children involved have improved, many face a journey of long recovery as a result of serious injuries,” the hospital’s Dec. 1 statement reads. “These children are able to go home or be transferred out of intensive care, but they will continue to need the love, support and dedication of the community.”
Children’s Hospital also reported that therapists with its Mental and Behavioral Health Helpline have responded to calls from over 90 families in response to the Waukesha tragedy.
Others injured in the parade attack included a Catholic priest, Father Patrick Heppe, who was discharged from the hospital.