Joe Biden has said that it is still possible to find survivors of the collapsed Miami building after meeting with the loved ones of those who are dead or missing.
Eighteen people have so far been confirmed dead while 145 remain missing after a building collapsed in Miami, near Florida last week.
The president travelled to Surfside in Florida to comfort families who he said had been “through hell” after the collapse on June 24.
After his emotional visit, Mr Biden revealed some of the relatives had asked him “heartwrenching questions” about whether they would even have remains to bury or cremate their loved ones at a funeral.
Speaking at a news conference after the visit, he said: “The whole nation is mourning with these families. They see it every day on television, they’re going through hell.”
But rescue efforts are back on after a 15-hour halt amid concerns about the stability of the remaining structure of the building.
“They’re praying and pleading that ‘God, let there be a miracle’,” he told reporters.
“There is still a possibility that someone could be alive, that someone is breathing.”
Authorities have also said they have not given up all hope of finding survivors, despite nobody being pulled out alive from the wreckage since the early hours of the tragedy.
Biden’s visit coincided with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) support, which includes coordinating disaster relief efforts, reimburse response costs and providing equipment and resources to assist with debris removal.
FEMA has already dispatched five urban search-and-rescue teams, each comprising 80 members, to assist in sifting through the rubble, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said aboard Air Force One.