As he prepared to board Marine One for a weekend getaway to Delaware on Friday, President Biden told reporters that he has no plans to visit East Palestine, Ohio — and that he hasn’t been invited amid rancor over the administration’s handling of the toxic train derailment.
“At this moment, no,” Biden, 80, responded outside the White House when asked if he had any plans to visit the town near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, where dangerous chemicals spilled onto the ground and toxic smoke billowed into the air after a Norfolk Southern train derailed on Feb. 3.
The toxic spill and ensuing fire forced the evacuation of roughly 5,000 panicked residents. Tens of thousands of animals in the area have also reportedly died in the weeks after the derailment, troubling residents.
Biden faced strident criticism from Republicans over his decision to visit Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv earlier this week before touring East Palestine, where residents remain concerned over possible long-term health effects from the train derailment.
The Biden administration has been accused of ignoring the calamity in East Palestine by several top Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, who is seeking the 2024 GOP nomination for president.
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