Biden struggles to explain why he didnt visit East Palestine

Biden struggles to explain why he didn’t visit East Palestine after the devastating train derailment

President Joe Biden fumbled with his words as he tried to explain why he still has no plans to visit eastern Palestine after a toxic train derailment devastated the small Ohio community.

As he left the White House on Friday to drive to his residence in Wilmington, Delaware, a reporter asked Biden if he would travel to eastern Palestine after his administration was accused of ignoring the city’s plight.

The President replied, “At this point, I’m not,” but then seemed confused and tense as he tried to explain himself.

“I did a whole video, I mean, um, what the heck, up,” Biden rambled as he scouted for reporters to fill in the blank.

‘Zoom?’ said one of the reporters, trying to help the President.

‘Zoom! All I can think of every time I think of Zoom is my generation’s song, Who’s Zoomin’ Who,” he said, referring to the Aretha Franklin song.

The odd exchange comes as the Biden administration comes under fire for its allegedly slow response to the disaster that released toxic chemicals into the air near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border on February 3, prompting 5,000 people to evacuate.

The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability has now opened an inquiry into Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg over his alleged “apathy” after waiting 20 days to visit the city.

President Joe Biden was left speechless as he explained to reporters why he has yet to visit East Palestine, Ohio, three weeks after the toxic train derailed

President Joe Biden was left speechless as he explained to reporters why he has yet to visit East Palestine, Ohio, three weeks after the toxic train derailed

Fifty freight cars were damaged and destroyed on February 3 as they traveled through the city when toxic chemicals were released into the ground and air

Fifty freight cars were damaged and destroyed on February 3 as they traveled through the city when toxic chemicals were released into the ground and air

During the meeting with reporters on the White House lawn on Friday, Biden defended his administration and his decision to visit Ukraine instead of residents of eastern Palestine.

“I had a long meeting with my team and what they’re doing,” Biden told reporters. ‘You know, we were there two hours after the train left. Two hours.

“I spoke to all the important figures in Pennsylvania and Ohio. And so the idea that we’re not engaged just isn’t there.

“And initially there was no prompt for me to go out before going to Kiev. So I’m watching that very closely. We’re doing everything we can,” he added.

The Zoom meeting Biden appeared to be referring to in his bizarre exchange was one he held earlier Friday with Buttigieg, EPA Administrator Michael Regan, Health Secretary Xavier Becerra and FEMA Director Deanne Criswell.

The President tweeted a picture of the meeting and said he met with officials to get “the latest updates on our response to the train derailment in East Palestine, OH.”

He added: “We remain committed to supporting the people of East Palestine at every turn.”

However, residents of eastern Palestine felt ignored by the government, and Mayor Trent Conaway accused the president of abandoning his duties at home when he was pictured Monday visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Residents near the site said they were “too scared to shower” and had experienced worrisome symptoms of headaches and irritated eyes in the days since the derailment.

Doug Brayshaw, 63, told NBC: “We’re scared to shower. I won’t even give my dog ​​drinking water from my well right now because I’m worried.”

Amanda Greathouse told CEN that she developed a rash, her eyes were “stinging” and she was sick. Since the incident, she said she decided not to raise her children in the area.

One couple even had to euthanize their indoor cat after realizing he was feeling nauseous just hours after the train derailment.

The Biden administration has been accused of being indifferent to the plight of the small Ohio community, where residents are reporting worrying symptoms

The Biden administration has been accused of being indifferent to the plight of the small Ohio community, where residents are reporting worrying symptoms

Defending his administration's work, Biden said his team has been in Palestine since day one, but added that he had never been invited to come and still has no plans to go

Defending his administration’s work, Biden said his team has been in Palestine since day one, but added that he had never been invited to come and still has no plans to go

1677309757 314 Biden struggles to explain why he didnt visit East Palestine Pictured: The site of the chemical spill as crews work to suppress the pollutants on Friday

Pictured: The site of the chemical spill as crews work to suppress the pollutants on Friday

Residents in eastern Palestine have reported going to hospital after the burial with rashes

Residents in eastern Palestine have reported going to hospital after the burial with rashes

1676411235 971 Residents in eastern Palestine express fears of being able to

On Thursday, Conaway kept Buttigieg waiting in a hallway while he spoke to former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani for the first time.

“I’m grateful to Mayor Giuliani for being here to help us. My top priority is to keep the health and safety of the people of this city and our region,” Conaway said during their meeting, according to a Giuliani spokesman.

“I will work with anyone who wants to help East Palestine and their party affiliation is irrelevant to me,” Conaway added.

Buttigieg and Giuliani’s visit comes a day after Donald Trump stopped by the city to deliver food and water to residents and said they had been “betrayed” by the Biden administration.

“We stand by you,” Trump told the crowd at the East Palestine Fire Department. “We are praying for you and we will stay with you in your struggle to help you answer [get] accountability you deserve.’

“Biden and FEMA said they would not send federal aid [the town] under no circumstances,” Trump claimed. “We opened up the dam and got them to move.”

In addition to delivering supplies to Ohio residents, Trump stopped at a local McDonald’s, where he ordered Big Macs for first responders and members of his team and gave out autographed MAGA hats to customers.

Despite the backlash against the Biden administration, Buttigieg told reporters during his tour of eastern Palestine that he was “proud” of how the federal government handled the situation – and accused critics of trying to gain “political advantage” from the situation pull.

In additional comments, Buttigieg told reporters he will consider whether he waited too long to respond to the crash.

“I’ll reflect on whether I’ve struck the right balance, but I think the most important thing first is to make sure residents here have what they need,” he said.

Trump boasted earlier this week that he visited the Ohio city before Biden or Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg when he delivered water and food

Trump boasted earlier this week that he visited the Ohio city before Biden or Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg when he delivered water and food

Buttigieg (centre) arrived the day after Trump, three weeks into the ongoing crisis.  He told reporters that he was considering his decision to wait so long

Buttigieg (centre) arrived the day after Trump, three weeks into the ongoing crisis. He told reporters that he was considering his decision to wait so long

The chemical spill has left many residents too afraid to shower while clean-up crews work to collect the wrecked train cars and their cargo

The chemical spill has left many residents too afraid to shower while clean-up crews work to collect the wrecked train cars and their cargo

Pictured: Chemical fire releases toxins into the air in eastern Palestine

Pictured: Chemical fire releases toxins into the air in eastern Palestine

His statement echoed that of White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who said GOP attacks on Buttigieg were “political stunts.”

“There have been many malicious attacks on Minister Buttigieg,” Jean-Pierre told reporters earlier this week. “If you remember Elaine Chao … when there were these types of chemical spills, no one called for her release.”

She also insisted that Americans should be “comfortable” with the Biden administration’s response to the spill, which prompted 5,000 to evacuate, and insisted Biden was taking the matter “seriously.”

Some Republicans have called for his resignation while accusing the Trump administration and railroad companies of undermining safety.

“This incident is an environmental and health emergency that now threatens Americans across state lines,” the letter to Buttigieg, signed by 21 Republican officials, read.

“Despite the responsibility of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to ensure safe and reliable transportation in the United States, you ignored the disaster for over a week,” it said.

“The American people deserve answers as to what caused the derailment, and the DOT must provide an explanation for its leadership’s apathy in the face of this emergency.

“We are requesting documents and information regarding the DOT’s response to the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio and the ensuing environmental and health emergency.”

Republicans claim America is now facing one of its “biggest transportation blackouts,” despite Biden’s infrastructure bill including billions of dollars to modernize the railroads.

1677309768 651 Biden struggles to explain why he didnt visit East Palestine 1677309770 613 Biden struggles to explain why he didnt visit East Palestine The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability has now launched an inquiry into Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg over alleged

The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability has now launched an inquiry into Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg over alleged “apathy”.

The derailed train consisted of three locomotives, 141 loads and nine empty loads – it was 9,300 feet long and weighed 18,000 tons. During the accident, 38 individual cars derailed, causing a fire that damaged another 12 cars.

According to authorities, 1.5 million gallons of pollutants have been removed from the area since the crash.

CBS News reported that Northern Southern officials felt the train was too heavy and had too many cars, making it difficult to stop.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed in federal court on Tuesday alleges that Norfolk Southern’s efforts to clean up and mitigate the derailment site have made the situation even more dangerous for local residents.

It is claimed that train 32N was carrying almost 1.1 million pounds of vinyl chloride when it overturned on February 3, a chemical that can mutate DNA and is not safe at any exposure level.

Then, when the train overturned, that huge amount of vinyl chloride — more than double the amount released by industrial emitters in the United States — all together in a year.

The dangerous chemicals released in the East Palestine train derailment

A train carrying a variety of toxic chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio on February 3.

Some of these chemicals have since been released into the air or soil due to local residents’ concerns about the long-term health effects.

Chemicals released in the derailment include:

Vinyl chloride – rail operator Norfolk Southern said 10 cars burned vinyl chloride, a known carcinogen. It’s a highly volatile colorless gas used to make polyvinyl chloride, a plastic used in plumbing, cables, bottles, and credit cards.

Symptoms of exposure to vinyl chloride include drowsiness, headache, and dizziness. Longer term effects can include cancer and liver damage.

Hydrogen Chloride – In an attempt to mitigate the effects of vinyl chloride, officials conducted a controlled explosion of the train cars, releasing hydrogen chloride.

The chemical is irritating and corrosive to any tissue it comes in contact with, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn.

Brief exposure can cause throat irritation, but exposure to higher levels can cause rapid breathing, constriction of the bronchioles, blue discoloration of the skin, fluid buildup in the lungs, and even death.

Phosgene – a chemical that was also released in the controlled explosion.

Like hydrogen chloride, phosgene irritates the skin, eyes and respiratory tract.

Common initial symptoms are mild irritation of the eyes and throat with some coughing, choking, nausea, occasional vomiting, headache and chest tightness.

Phosgene poisoning can also cause respiratory and cardiovascular failure, low blood pressure, and fluid buildup in the lungs.

Ethylhexyl acrylate – a chemical carried on the train

It is a known carcinogen that can cause burning and irritation to the skin and eyes. Inhaling the substance can also irritate the nose and throat, causing shortness of breath and coughing.

Isobutylene was also transported on the train.

Inhaling isobutylene can cause dizziness and drowsiness

Ethylene glycol monobutyl was another substance shipped to Pennsylvania.

It can cause irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, and throat, as well as hematuria (or blood in the urine), nervous system depression, headache, and vomiting.