President Joe Biden fulfilled part of a March promise to visit the devastated community of East Palestine, Ohio by flying over in Air Force One this week. Biden’s actions took place months after former President Donald Trump visited the town and met with local residents.
East Palestine suffered severe damage after the derailment of a freight train there on Feb. 3. Following the crash, officials authorized the burning of a significant number of chemicals, causing a large plume of black, acrid smoke.
Following the derailment there was an evacuation of the community. Residents and media sources began reporting a large number of animals dying after coming into contact with what appeared to be contaminated water.
The president made the transit while flying to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to discuss his economic plans.
Joe Biden claims that he's "been to so many disaster areas" despite breaking his promise to visit East Palestine, Ohio. pic.twitter.com/aQOHmCOumh
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 15, 2023
Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) wrote an op-ed to the Columbus Dispatch, in which he called the president’s response “inexcusable.”
“Residents have asked me: when the cameras and reporters disappear, will the country forget about what happened to our home? Will our political leaders forget about us and our families?” he wrote.
The senator said that by “all accounts, our country and our political class have forgotten.” Vance wrote that the president both failed in his promise to visit the affected community and “has also refused to grant critical assistance to the recovery effort.”
“The Biden administration has ignored Ohio’s pleas for help,” the senator wrote. “This is inexcusable: a disaster declaration would guarantee the delivery of resources the community needs to save itself.”
Vance also said that efforts by the Biden administration’s environmental officials “have also been woefully inadequate.”
Trump visited East Palestine less than three weeks after the disaster. He brought truckloads of water to the community.
During the February trip, the former president told local residents that they “are not forgotten.”
“We’re here today in East Palestine to show our love and support for our fellow Americans in this hour of need,” he said.
“We stand with you. We pray for you. And we will stay with you in your fight to help answer and get the accountability that you deserve,” the former president told residents.