Biden to FINALLY visit East Palestine a year after the toxic train derailment devastated Ohio community

President Joe Biden will finally visit East Palestine a year after a train derailment devastated the Ohio community
Published January 31, 2024
  • Biden will visit East Palestine sometime in February, the White House said
  • President faced criticism for not visiting site of train disaster
  • The derailment happened a year ago 

President Joe Biden will finally visit East Palestine a year after a train derailment devastated the Ohio community, the White House announced on Wednesday.

The president was criticized in the weeks after the harrowing incident for not visiting the site of the toxic crash.

Donald Trump did visit the site as did Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted the president would go to fulfill the vow he made to see the devastation but, for months, would not say when Biden would make the trip.

Biden will go sometime in February, the White House now says, without giving a specific date.

The president has traveled to other disaster sites across the country in the months a Norfolk Southern train hauling hazardous materials ran off the tracks on Feb. 3, 2023. The accident resulted in a days-long fire that released poisonous fumes into the air. Hundreds of residents were evacuated.

In March, Biden told reporters he would visit East Palestine ‘at some point.’

During his trip next month he will meet with residents and examine the cleanup efforts.

East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway told Fox News said the best time for Biden to visit would be in 2025 ‘when he is on his book tour,’ which indicates he didn’t think the president would win a second term in the White House.

‘The President is always welcome to our town,’ he added. ‘That being said, I don’t know what he would do here now.

Trump, who is in the lead for the Republican presidential nomination, visited East Palestine shortly after the derailment. He said ahead of his trip that the people in that town ‘were abandoned.’

On Wednesday he was critical of Biden’s visit.

‘With the World blowing up around us, with the Middle East on FIRE, Biden has finally decided to visit East Palestine, Ohio, a year late, and only to develop some political credibility because EVERYTHING else he has done has been such a DISASTER. I know those great people, I was there when it counted, and his reception won’t be a warm one. Worst President in History!,’ Trump wrote on his Truth Social account.

Trump won Ohio by 8 points in the 2020 election. The state, which used to be considered a bellweather, has become increasingly red.

Republican Senator JD Vance of Ohio, who joined Trump on his trip to the community, has been a heavy critic of Biden for not visiting.

‘I think that he sees this community not as a Biden community, and therefore he’s not doing anything for it,’ Vance told Fox News in September. ‘It is shameful conduct. When you’re the President, you serve the people no matter who they voted for. And East Palestine deserves much better from their government.’

The White House points out that, within hours of derailment, the Environmental Protection Agency had trained emergency response personnel on the ground in  East Palestine to aid state and local emergency and environmental response efforts. And that the Department of Transportation was also there to aid efforts.



RELATED: Biden will visit Ohio community that was devastated by a fiery train derailment nearly a year ago

FILE – Portions of a Norfolk Southern freight train that derailed the night before burn in East Palestine, Ohio, Feb. 4, 2023. The White House says President Joe Biden will visit the eastern Ohio community that was devastated by a fiery train derailment in February 2023. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Published January 31, 2024

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will visit the eastern Ohio community that was devastated by a fiery train derailment in February 2023 that displaced thousands of residents and left many fearing potential health effects from the toxic chemicals that spilled when a Norfolk Southern train went off the tracks.

A White House official said Wednesday that Biden will visit East Palestine in February, a year after the derailment. A date for the Democratic president’s trip was not given. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because Biden’s plans had yet to be formally announced.




RELATED: Finally! Biden to Visit Site of East Palestine, Ohio, Train Derailment

Published January 31, 2024

President Joe Biden will visit East Palestine, Ohio, to mark the one-year anniversary of the devastating train derailment, the White House announced Wednesday.

Biden will see his way clear to meet with residents impacted by the derailment and the hazardous chemicals that were subsequently spilled into the community, Bloomberg News reports.

The White House said Biden will address his administration’s progress in working with state and local leaders to protect the community and hold Norfolk Southern accountable for their actions.

Biden was heavily criticized at the time of the incident for never visiting in the weeks and months that followed the February 3, 2023, disaster.

Residents were finally given the all-clear to return to their homes February 8 but not before toxic vinyl chloride gas was vented and burned, releasing a plume of black smoke over the town for days.

On their return they were met by President Donald Trump who visited East Palestine after the accident, where he delivered truckloads of bottled water to residents.

“President Trump is meeting with the citizens of East Palestine, and he will never forget them and what they are going through. Contrast that with Biden and the federal government, who have failed them from the beginning,” Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung told Breitbart News at the time.





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