The Biden administration is taking well-deserved criticism for neglecting the train derailment disaster in Ohio, but even as President Joe Biden seems to be ignoring it, former President Donald Trump is stepping up to help.
Biden has paid scant attention to the train derailment and its aftermath, preferring instead to fly to Ukraine, where he pledged hundreds of millions of our tax dollars to support their defense against Russian invaders.
Worse, the one U.S. official who is supposed to be dealing with the disaster, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, has earned criticism for his disinterest in the mounting disaster.
After a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine on Feb. 3 and toxic chemicals started spilling from the wreckage, officials quickly began evacuating residents from the area.
But the Biden administration was extremely slow in responding to the disaster. Even as residents began reporting health consequences from the toxic chemical spill, and Sen. J.D. Vance posted a viral video showing the contamination of the water in a local creek, it was two weeks before the first high-ranking federal official visited the area.
Worse, Buttigieg — whose initial response was to wave off the incident, saying it “happens all the time” — still hasn’t visited the scene of the derailment.
Though he is scheduled to visit Ohio on Thursday, according to Fox News, that will be 20 days after the accident occurred.
The worry over the derailment is bipartisan, too. Both of Ohio’s senators, Republican Vance and Democrat Sherrod Brown, are demanding answers from the Environmental Protection Agency over its determinations about the toxic chemicals spilling into the state’s waterways.
But as the Biden administration continues to take earned flak for its many failures during this disaster, Trump is stepping up and delivering serious embarrassment to the Biden administration.
On Wednesday afternoon, the former president arrived in East Palestine to offer his support and tour affected areas, bringing with him “truckloads” of water bottles and cleaning supplies, according to Breitbart News.
“We love you, President Trump!”
Residents of East Palestine, Ohio, show their appreciation for Trump during his visit. pic.twitter.com/CtRdCozjty
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) February 22, 2023
Ahead of the trip, Trump’s representatives told the media that he intended to donate “thousands of gallons” of cleaning supplies and 13 pallets of drinking water to the city, Fox News reported.
“President Trump is meeting with the citizens of East Palestine and will never forget them and what they are going through,” a Trump adviser told Fox News. “Contrast that with Biden and the federal government who has failed them from the beginning.”
On Monday, Trump blasted the Biden administration’s delinquent response to the derailment.
“You have people in Ohio that are in desperate need of help,” Trump said Monday during a Florida event where he blasted Biden for going to Ukraine instead of Ohio.
Indeed, Biden’s trip amid the ongoing dangers in Ohio left East Palestine residents furious.
“That was the biggest slap in the face,” Mayor Trent Conaway said Monday on Fox News’ “Jesse Watters Primetime.” “That tells you right now he doesn’t care about us.”
Last week, Buttigieg tried to blame Trump for the derailment by claiming that a regulation change during the Trump presidency made such an accident more likely — though he offered no proof of his claim.
Still, East Palestine residents did not miss the fact that the Federal Emergency Management Agency finally took action only hours after Trump announced that he was planning a visit to the site of the disaster.
Regardless, the former president is giving his own time and money toward helping the residents of East Palestine recover from this disaster even as the Biden administration continues to twiddle its thumbs.