Biden under fire for ‘tone-deaf’ shipping speech after saying CFO ‘dropped dead’

President Joe Biden is under fire for a speech condoling the death of a top executive of the Ohio-based specialty retailer Jo-Ann Stores.

Mr Biden started his speech at the White House with words of condolence for the family of Matt Susz, the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Jo-Ann Stores. The company announced Susz’s death on Wednesday.

Mr Biden said: “And by the way, my sympathies to your family of your CFO, who dropped dead very unexpectedly.” He added: “My best to their family. It’s tough stuff.”

People were quick to point out the “embarrassing” use of words by the president of the United States. One Twitter user said this showed a “lack of compassion” by Mr Biden.

Others were sarcastic. “He’s a wordsmith,” said one.

On Twitter, hundreds pointed out his choice of words to condole the death of Susz. One said: “Biden is the greatest threat to the stand-up comedy club that has ever existed. Period.”

His words were also called “tone-deaf” by many. Others noted sarcastically “how presidential!” his remarks about him were.

The company had said of Susz’s death: “It is with immense sadness that we share the unexpected passing of Matt Susz, executive vice president, the chief financial officer of JOANN, Inc.”

“Susz joined JOANN in 1996 and served in various roles of increasing responsibility within finance, information technology, strategy and operations over the past 26 years. Prior to JOANN, Susz contributed his talents for five years at Arthur Andersen LLP in the audit practice. ”

Meanwhile, the legislation Mr Biden signed on Wednesday is expected to improve oversight of ocean shipping. He “promised to crack down on ocean carriers whose price hikes have hurt American families.”

The World Shipping Council was quoted as saying by Reuters that it will work with the FMC [Federal Maritime Commission] to implement the bill “in a way that will minimize disruption in our supply chain.”

However, it added: “Ocean carriers continue to move record volumes of cargo and have invested heavily in new capacity – America needs to make the same commitment and invest in its landside logistics infrastructure.”

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