(HorizonPost.com) – President Joe Biden will not visit East Palestine, the White House has confirmed. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “I don’t have anything to share on a presidential visit, not at this time, or anything to announce.” She added however that it is important that the President take the matter seriously and said his response to the disaster was to make sure that environmental protection agents were on the ground at the scene. Biden has faced widespread criticism for failing to attend the site and opting to visit Ukraine instead.
The Ohio town was the scene of a train derailment on February 3rd. The train was carrying chemicals now feared to have contaminated land and water in the village close to the Pennsylvania state line. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has faced similar criticism after taking almost three weeks to visit the derailment site. Buttigieg has admitted that he took too long to travel to East Palestine but said he was trying to strike the right balance and let the relevant agencies get on with their work. His visit however took place only a day after former President Donald Trump had beaten him to it.
Trump made a trip to the area on February 22nd and said the government had betrayed the local people by failing to respond. Wearing his trademark Make America Great Again baseball cap, Trump was accompanied by Ohio Senator J.D. Vance and local Mayor Trent Conaway. He lashed out at Biden’s decision to visit Ukraine and give that country billions of dollars. He said he hoped the President had some money left for Ohio when he returned from Europe.
Trump personally donated 1,000s of bottles of water and bought food for local workers. Buttigieg hit back at the former President saying it was his regulations that had made trains less safe. He said Trump’s administration had reversed Obama regulations requiring trains carrying potentially toxic substances to be fitted with electronic braking systems.
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