Biden insists he will go to eastern Palestine — ‘at some point’ — a MONTH after toxic train derailment: Again defends backlash, saying he’s been talking to officials ‘constantly’
- “I’ve talked to every official in Ohio on an ongoing basis, Democrat and Republican alike,” Biden told reporters
- “We’ll be there at some point,” he said
- News of a visit comes nearly a month after the damaging chemical spill forced 5,000 people to evacuate and led to the deaths of tens of thousands of animals
President Biden said he would “one day” go to eastern Palestine to visit the site of the train derailment and toxic chemical spill.
“I’ve talked to every official in Ohio on an ongoing basis, both the Democrat and the Republican,” Biden told reporters after meeting with Senate Democrats, asking if he was coming. “We’ll be there at some point.”
“We will implement an awful lot through legislation,” Biden added.
News of a visit comes nearly a month after the damaging chemical spill forced 5,000 people to evacuate and led to the deaths of tens of thousands of animals. The Biden administration has been criticized for what critics said was a backlog and mounting pressure on the president to go to Ohio himself.
President Biden on Wednesday ordered officials to go door-to-door in eastern Palestine asking residents to fill out surveys, fearing an emerging public health crisis.
President Biden said he would “one day” go to eastern Palestine to visit the site of the train derailment and toxic chemical spill
Earlier Thursday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine forced Biden to visit eastern Palestine.
“He should come, there’s no question about that,” DeWine said in an interview with Fox News. “The president must come. The people want to see the president. He should be there.’
Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and government officials have said the air and water quality are safe, some residents remain unconvinced. Some have experienced physical reactions such as skin rashes and difficulty breathing.
This week, scientists from Texas A&M and Carnegie Mellon found that levels of nine chemicals were higher than normal. They said if the chemicals persist at current levels, it could cause long-term health problems for residents.
Dr. Albert Presto is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon’s Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, who is part of the university’s chemical monitoring in Eastern Palestine.
He told local news outlet WKBN: “That material that is dumped on the ground or in the water can come out of the ground again when the temperature changes or when the wind blows.”
Dr. Presto also told CNN: “It’s not so lofty that it’s necessarily an immediate health issue to evacuate the building.
The chemicals on board the train were vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, benzene residue, glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate and isobutylene
A giant plume of smoke from the aftermath of the incident could be seen from miles away
Ayla Antoniazzi told CNN: “I have allowed my four-year-old to return to kindergarten, which is located at East Palestine Elementary School. She went back two days and got a rash on her hands again and started complaining about itching so I pulled her out again’
“But we don’t necessarily know what the long-term risk is or how long that concentration causing that risk will persist.”
DeWine said when he questioned the EPA about the universities’ findings, their answer made “a lot of sense.”
“You have an increase in some of these, which they think will obviously be temporary,” he said. “What they tell us is that this is not a problem in the short term. … If it stays that way year after year and people continue to breathe it in, yes, then that is indeed a problem.’
DeWine said he had spoken to the president several times by phone since the incident, but had not given an explanation as to why he had not stopped by.
“I just think now is the time, the president has to come,” DeWine said. “It’s just important.”