Biden Makes 2 Hour Pitstop In East Palestine En Route To The Beach Over A Year After Train Derailment

[Photo Credit: Screenshot | White House]

Reagan Reese White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden made his long-awaited visit to East Palestine, Ohio, on Friday for a quick two hours, before jetting off to the beach in Delaware, his most-frequented weekend vacation spot.

Over a year ago, a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, spilling toxic chemicals into the community. Following the disaster, Biden promised on Feb. 3, 2023, that “at some point” he would visit the town. More than a year after promising to take the visit, Biden stopped in the community for two hours, meeting with officials, first responders and giving an address on the disaster. (RELATED: Biden Finally Visits East Palestine To Avoid Campaign Derailment)

“Let me be clear, while there are acts of God, this was an act of greed that was 100% preventable,” Biden said during his Friday remarks. “Let me say it again. An act of greed that was 100% preventable. We were pushing railroads to take more precautions, to deal with breaking, to deal with a whole range of things that were not dealt with. Norfolk Southern failed its responsibility.”

Biden met with East Palestine first responders, business owners and East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway during his visit to the area.

As part of his trip, Biden was briefed by various officials on the response and recovery efforts taking place in the community. The president announced six National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants to fund a study of the short and long term impacts of the disaster. Biden pledged that the administration would be helping in the area for as long as it takes for the community to complete its recovery efforts.

Several months after the disaster and after multiple administration officials had visited the area, Biden issued an executive order that would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to appoint a Disaster Recovery Coordinator to oversee the recovery of the town. The Department of Justice (DOJ) then filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern in March as part of the administration’s pledge to hold the company accountable.

“All total, what we have done in one year what would take many years, and we will keep going,” Biden said Friday.

After the White House announced that Biden would finally be making a trip to East Palestine, residents of the area had mixed reactions to the news.

“I don’t care at this point,” Tammy Tsai, a resident of the community, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I mean, he couldn’t even pronounce the name of our town. That’s maybe not a big thing, but maybe somebody should have told him that earlier on. Maybe he’s corrected it by now. But that just shows you how much he just didn’t know what was going on.”

Biden departed on his way to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, after the stop in Ohio. During 2023, the president spent 37% of the year on vacation at either one of his Delaware residences, a vacation site or Camp David, according to a New York Post report.

“It’s what I expected because I expected nothing from him,” Dr. Rick Tsai, a resident of East Palestine, told the Daily Caller about Biden’s short visit. “He had to come here because it’s an election year. Let’s just put it that way. We weren’t not forgotten. Everybody says ‘we were forgotten.’ We were not forgotten. He knew we were here all the time. We were abandoned.”