President Joe Biden said on Thursday that he will visit the site of a toxic train derailment in eastern Ohio “at some point,” ABC News reported.
Biden made the promise to reporters after he attended a Senate Democratic caucus lunch at the United States Capitol Thursday afternoon, according to ABC News. Biden has received criticism for not visiting East Palestine after a Norfolk Southern train derailed Feb. 3, leading to a controlled burn conducted days later that leaked hazardous chemicals including vinyl chloride into the air and water.
“I’ve spoken with every official in Ohio, Democrat and Republican, on a continuing basis, as in Pennsylvania,” Biden said. “I laid out a little bit in there what I think the answers are … and we will be implementing an awful lot to the legislation here.”
He then pledged he would “be out there at some point,” but Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said later that day she was not aware of any new travel plans for the president, the Hill reported.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent officials to the crash scene hours after the derailment, according to its website. EPA Administrator Michael Regan and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently made visits to the town, however Biden said Feb. 24 that he had no intention to visit.
Former President Donald Trump visited East Palestine on Feb. 23 and said at the local McDonald’s that it is “terrible” Biden has yet to make the trip. Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine told “Fox & Friends” Thursday that Biden needs to visit.
“He should come. There’s no doubt about it,” he said. “He needs to come. The people want to see the president, he should be there.”
Residents are frustrated by Biden’s response to the disaster.
“The federal government, Biden, has not acknowledged East Palestine so I’m a little bit unhappy about that,” William Hugar, an East Palestine resident, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The first week that it happened Biden was too busy popping Chinese balloons.”
The White House did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
Post written by Alexa Schwera. Republished with permission from DCNF. Images via Becker News.
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