‘He Should Be There’: Ohio Gov. DeWine Pleads With Biden To Visit Disaster In East Palestine

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine pleaded with President Joe Biden on Thursday to visit the derailment disaster in East Palestine, Ohio.

The president previously confirmed he had no immediate plans to visit the site where the Norfolk Southern freight train carrying toxic chemicals derailed on Feb. 3. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, members of the National Transportation Safety Board, and former President Donald Trump have all visited East Palestine to address the crisis throughout the month.

“He should come. There’s no doubt about it,” DeWine told “Fox & Friends.” “He needs to come. The people want to see the president, he should be there.”

The governor said he last spoke to the president during Biden’s  visit to Poland, where he also made an appearance in Kyiv, Ukraine. He has kept in contact with Biden and White House officials without an explanation as to why the president has not arrived.

“It’s just important. I’ve been there four times in a matter of two days after it occurred, a lot of people have been on the ground since two hours after it started. I will say that the U.S. EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] was there, we were there about the same time. Our people got there, we had our health department, our EPA there. We’re there, and our message to the community is we’re staying, we’re not going away. We’re staying with you, we’re gonna continue to work on this problem,” DeWine continued. (RELATED: CNN Reporter Says East Palestine Residents Wouldn’t Care If Biden Was ‘Digging Up Toxic Muck)

Buttigieg traveled to East Palestine 20 days after the crisis occurred to talk with local residents who have been frustrated by the lack of federal response. The Transportation took 10 days to publicly respond to the disaster. He later admitted that he “could’ve spoken out sooner.”

The Biden administration rejected the Ohio state government’s request for federal disaster assistance because it did not classify the derailing as a national disaster under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) definition.

Residents of East Palestine praised Trump for visiting their community before Buttigieg or Biden in mid-February.

“I’m so glad he’s taken an interest in our tiny town,” Jennifer Lohr told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “For him to come down on his own dime to help us out, to say ‘what can he do’ … even his presence here is drawing us attention and that’s all we need is attention, so we’re not forgotten.”