Biden to visit East Palestine for the first time 1 YEAR AFTER toxic train derailment

"The American people have awakened to realize that the leader of our country did not show up to the greatest catastrophe of 2023. And now he’s going to show up because it is an election year."

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Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
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President Joe Biden has announced plans to visit East Palestine, Ohio, where he will meet with residents impacted by the toxic train derailment that occurred last year. This will be the president's first visit to the city to address the crisis.

Biden has been heavily criticized over the past year for not yet visiting East Palestine, while former President Donald J. Trump immediately visited the site of the crisis which garnered an endorsement from Trent R. Conaway, the Mayor of East Palestine.

On Wednesday, an official with the Biden administration announced the president's upcoming visit, according to the New York Post, and said: "In February, President Biden will travel to East Palestine, Ohio, to meet with residents impacted by the Norfolk Southern train derailment and assess the progress that his Administration has helped deliver in coordination with state and local leaders to protect the community and hold Norfolk Southern accountable."

Donald Trump, who is the 2024 GOP presidential frontrunner, took Biden's announcement as an opportunity to shame the president for his late show of support. Trump visited East Palestine the same month as the disaster and ordered McDonald's for impacted residents. He also donated thousands of bottles of water.

"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," Trump wrote on Truth Social. "I know those great people, I was there when it counted, and his reception won't be a warm one."



A few months after the train derailment, Mayor Trent Conaway endorsed Donald Trump for president and slammed President Biden for not visiting the town that became engulfed in toxic black smoke.

"I would first like to thank Joe Biden and Hunter Biden for visiting the town — oh, that’s right, they were busy," said East Palestine Mayor Trent R. Conaway while on stage at the Lincoln Day dinner in Columbiana, Ohio last year.


 

Conaway went on to say that President Trump's visit to East Palestine "really changed the way people saw us — the town."

"They realized that we needed help," said the mayor. "We’ve been asking for help, and we had the EPA there and other agencies, but we truly got help after [Trump] visited, so we thank you. Without you, this could have been different, so we thank you."

"The support you showed to me and my residents, we appreciate it, you have no idea how much we appreciated that — it really changed things. And that’s why, in 2024, I will support your father's reelection," Mayor Conaway said to Donald Trump Jr. while on stage at the event.

Furthermore, residents of East Palestine have not been thrilled with President Biden.

One resident and local business owner named DJ Yokley slammed Biden's upcoming visit on Fox and Friends during an interview on Wednesday and praised Trump's efforts in return.

"The American people have awakened to realize that the leader of our country did not show up to the greatest catastrophe of 2023. And now he’s going to show up because it is an election year," said Yokley.

"President Trump came and supported us when he didn’t have to … Now it’s, ‘Hey we have to go visit East Palestine because we haven’t done that yet — and check it off the books,'" he added.



On February 3, 2023, a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed in East Palestine, releasing toxic chemicals into the surrounding area. In an effort to remove the dangerous items, cleanup workers ultimately set five rail carriages on fire. This resulted in a hazardous cloud of thick smoke engulfing the air. This resulted in an evacuation and a significant lasting impact on air and water quality, which created a detrimental crisis for residents in the area.

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