Biden Will Not Take Trip To Ohio Train Derailment Site After Trump Visit
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre informed reporters on Thursday that President Biden still has no plans to visit East Palestine, Ohio residents following a toxic chemical spill there brought on by a train derailment nearly three weeks ago. This comes one day after former President Donald Trump visited the region.
After being questioned several times, Jean-Pierre stressed that the 80-year-old Biden had not booked a flight but is “getting briefed pretty regularly” and is “taking the situation very seriously.”
“So is everybody willing to accept free food from Trump?” asks the former president while at the McDonalds in #EastPalestineOhio . Buys police and firefighters food after making remarks about the train derailment #fox8 #TrainDerailment #Trump #DonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/UOFfB86WRV
— Elizabeth Noreika (@enoreikaTV) February 22, 2023
“He offered federal assistance and directed his team to stay on top of this. At this time, I don’t have anything to read out or announce on travel to Ohio.”
Conservatives and the mayor of East Palestine blasted Biden earlier this week for choosing to fly to Ukraine to commemorate the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of that nation rather than going to the scene of the local catastrophe.
In addition to distributing thousands of bottles of “Trump Water,” Trump, 76, traveled to East Palestine on Wednesday to meet with locals who had been impacted by the disaster on February 3. He also claimed that the Biden administration had “betrayed” the town.
“You are not forgotten. You’re going to have plenty of water for a long time.”
Later, the former president provided complimentary McDonald’s lunches to local first responders in the village close to the Pennsylvania border.
DRINKING EAST PALESTINE WATER: with EPA Administrator Michael Regan & Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (2/21) pic.twitter.com/8fnYYkKZgQ
— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) February 22, 2023
At the briefing, Jean-Pierre also asserted that Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, had not traveled to East Palestine at the president’s request on Thursday. Buttigieg acknowledged to reporters present that he had postponed personally addressing the derailment for too long.
The 41-year-old added that he was attempting to “balance” his “desire to be involved” with adhering to the “norm of transportation secretaries” by delaying his trip to East Palestine.
In an effort to reassure doubtful neighbors that their tap water was safe to drink, EPA Administrator Michael Regan visited the Ohio spill site this week and took a time to down some East Palestine water with Republican Gov. Mike DeWine.