Trump Plans Surprising Visit
In the wake of a freight train derailment that left a hazardous material spill in East Palestine, Ohio, former President Donald Trump plans to visit the small town on Wednesday. Trump, who is set to run for President again in 2024, has taken the opportunity to criticize the current administration’s handling of the disaster. Trump’s campaign released a statement claiming that the Biden administration initially refused to provide assistance to East Palestine, but changed their tune when Trump announced he was going to visit. Trump said that he “got them to ‘move’,” and that “the people of East Palestine need help.”
The derailment occurred on February 3, and locals have been raising health concerns ever since. The Environmental Protection Agency has conducted air monitoring in the days since, and has said that the tests have not detected any levels of health concern. Governor Mike DeWine, a Republican, released a joint statement with FEMA Regional Administrator Thomas Sivak announcing that FEMA will be providing aid.
The statement also noted that the Department of Health and Human Services will be providing assistance to residents needing medical care due to the toxic spill. Additionally, DeWine’s office noted that testing results from East Palestine’s municipal water source have determined that the water is safe to drink, but urged locals who get their water from private wells to use bottled water until their water is tested.
Trump won Ohio in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, and Biden has said he intends to run for re-election. Trump’s visit to East Palestine is likely an attempt to show that he still has a strong base of supporters in the state and to draw attention to the need for assistance in the aftermath.
This move is sure to draw attention to the town and the disaster, as well as draw attention to Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign. It remains to be seen whether or not the visit will have any effect on the current administration’s handling of the disaster, but the people of East Palestine will benefit from the increased attention their plight is receiving.