The Biden administration confirmed to reporters on Thursday that Joe Biden has zero plans to visit East Palestine, Ohio, in the near future after a train derailed nearly three weeks ago causing a toxic chemical spill.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked by the media if any travel discussions have occurred for Joe Biden to make a trip to the devastated area.
“I don’t have anything to share on a presidential visit, not at this time, or anything to announce,” responded Jean-Pierre. Defending Joe Biden’s absence, she said, “it does matter that the president put forth a multi-agency kind of reaction to this, taking it seriously,” added Jean-Pierre.
Continuing, she alluded to visitations from Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in lieu of Biden.
“Showing up is having the Environmental Protection administer on the ground, showing up is having the Transportation secretary on the ground,” said Jean-Pierre.
Though members of the Biden administration visited East Palestine, their appearance has not shielded Joe Biden from criticism of his trip to Ukraine while the Ohio community has yet to see his presence. Mayor Trent Conway of East Palestine called Biden’s international travel to Ukraine “the biggest slap in the face.”
In addition, according to Mayor Conway, Biden’s no-show communicates that he “doesn’t care about us.”
Criticism of Biden was not issued from Mayor Conway alone, but also from President Donald Trump.
“Get over here” the 45th president emphatically replied when asked what his message was to Joe Biden. On Wednesday, Trump visited the Ohio community impacted by the devastation, but he did not go empty-handed. The 2024 Republican candidate issued supplies, clean water, and a message of hope.
Addressing those affected by the disaster, Trump reassured them that they are “not forgotten.” “We stand with you, we pray for you, and we’ll stay with you in your fight to help answer…the accountability that you deserve,” said Trump.