As Trump Heads to Ohio in Wake of Disaster, Biden Runs Off to Europe
As East Palestine, Ohio, and residents cry for help while their town turns toxic, a tale of two presidents is unfolding.
Former President Donald Trump has announced that he is heading to East Palestine where residents’ pleas for assistance have been ignored as they deal with the aftermath of a train wreck that led to a cloud of toxic gas over their town.
President Joe Biden will be heading to Europe, where support is flagging as Ukraine nears its second year of fighting off a Russian invasion. The White House announced that Biden will be traveling to Poland from Monday through Wednesday.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that Biden’s schedule is too full to squeeze in a visit to the community, according to the Washington Examiner.
Trump, on the other hand, used his Truth Social platform on Saturday to affirm his intention of visiting East Palestine on Wednesday.
In response to a post on Truth Social Dan Scavino, from former Trump White House deputy chief of staff and director of social media, publicizing a story by The Post Millennial on Trump’s planned visit, Trump wrote:
“Great people who need help, NOW!”
In another post, Trump noted that the Biden administration changed its tune on the town getting help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at about the same time that Trump announced he would visit the community.
“Biden and FEMA said they would not be sending federal aid to East Palestine. As soon as I announced that I’m going, he announced a team will go. Hopefully he will also be there. This is good news because we got them to ‘move.’ The people of East Palestine need help. I’ll see you on Wednesday!” wrote Trump, who won Ohio in the 2020 election with 53.3 percent of the vote compared to Biden’s 45.2 percent.
The crisis in East Palestine began unfolding on Feb. 3, when about 50 cars of a Norfolk Southern train derailed, according to The Associated Press. About 20 cars carried hazardous substances, officials said. A mass evacuation was ordered two days later after officials decided to burn off the vinyl chloride in the cars, which sent phosgene, which is toxic, and hydrogen chloride into the air, according to the AP.
Although residents have since been allowed to return, they complain of rashes, headaches and other medical symptoms.
Last week, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said that the administration’s lack of high-level representation at the scene of the disaster was reprehensible, focusing on Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
“What happened in East Palestine is unacceptable,” he posted on Twitter.
What happened in East Palestine, Ohio is unacceptable.
And yet, Biden’s Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has been nowhere to be found. pic.twitter.com/OYeVMA4LQC
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 16, 2023
“And I gotta say, Secretary Buttigieg has been nowhere to be found on this issue,” Cruz said in a Fox Business News interview. “You know, it really is a remarkable thing that he hasn’t gone to East Palestine to see what happened there. He hasn’t come to Congress to explain what happened … I know he’s got aspirations, but he actually has a day job — he has a job he’s been appointed to do that is incredibly important. And we need serious leadership.”
As the residents of East Palestine await help, Biden will be calling for unity against Russia as the war in Ukraine turns into a slogging contest of attrition with no end in sight, according to Politico.
“I think the jury is still out on whether [Biden] can keep NATO unified. It’s only going to get more difficult going forward. Ukraine will have to show results with the aid they have received,” retired Brig. Gen. David Hicks said, according to Politico.
“The war has exposed profound deficiencies in European countries’ capabilities and weapons stocks,” Alina Polyakova, head of the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C., said, according to Politico.
“The concern is that they already don’t have enough to supply Ukraine and restock at the same time. And whether the U.S. defense industry can pivot fast enough — many think that it can’t,” she said.
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