(USNewsMag.com) – After nearly a year since a catastrophic train derailment and chemical spill rocked the town of East Palestine, Ohio, the President is finally going to visit the disaster zone, according to a White House official.
Just before 9 PM on Feb. 3, 2023, 38 cars of a freight train derailed in East Palestine. The giant pileup was the least of the problems, though. Those train cars contained hazardous materials which burned for over two days after a controlled burn of multiple railcars was initiated to remove material. This released phosgene and hydrogen chloride into the air and resulted in thousands of residents having to be evacuated from a one-mile radius of ground zero and the deployment of emergency response teams from surrounding states.
At the time of the accident, President Joe Biden received widespread criticism for failing to visit the Ohio community in the months that followed the accident, which he still hasn’t done. Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, was questioned about the situation earlier in January and told reporters that Biden would go to East Palestine “when it’s most helpful to the community.”
When Fox News asked the Mayor of East Palestine, Trent Conaway, when he thought would be the “most helpful” time for Biden to visit, Conaway jokingly responded February 2025, when the president “is on his book tour.” He added that Biden is “always welcome” in his town but that he’s not sure what the President can do there now to help them. Conaway believes Biden is only showing up now because it’s an election year.
Other town residents have also appeared in the media and criticized Biden’s lack of concern. Three of them appeared on “Fox & Friends” in September and detailed their struggles since the disaster. Courtney Miller, who’s been staying in a nearby hotel since the accident, said that most people she knows who live in the area have all “ended up sick.”
The White House official who confirmed Biden’s upcoming visit said the President will discuss his administration’s vision for a more “comprehensive” response from the government regarding railroad safety and disaster relief.
Contrary to Biden, his #1 rival got it right from the start. Former President Donald Trump visited East Palestine just a few weeks after the disaster occurred.
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