Trump announces trip to East Palestine, FEMA reverses course
After former president Donald Trump announced his potential visit to the town of East Palestine, Ohio, where a train derailment led to the release of deadly chemicals, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reversed its course.
Moments after he announced his trip to the town, FEMA offered its support to East Palestine.
Tomorrow, we'll supplement federal efforts by deploying a Senior Response Official & a Regional Incident Management Assistance Team to support ongoing operations, including incident coordination & ongoing assessments of potential long term recovery needs.https://t.co/pVLIm5tE3h— FEMA (@fema) February 18, 2023
However, the agency previously stated that Ohio was "ineligible" to receive assistance.
Just Moments After Trump Announces Trip to East Palestine, FEMA Reverses Decision on Ohio Disaster Aidhttps://t.co/Ke4FZ8mSBv— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) February 18, 2023
According to the office of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R):
The DeWine Administration has been in daily contact with FEMA to discuss the need for federal support, however, FEMA continues to tell Governor DeWine that Ohio is not eligible for assistance at this time. Governor DeWine will continue working with FEMA to determine what assistance can be provided.
On Truth Social, Trump said he got the Biden administration and FEMA to act.
"Biden and FEMA said they would not be sending federal aid to East Palestine. As soon as I announced that I'm going, he announced a team will go. Hopefully, he will also be there. This is good news because we got them to move. The people of East Palestine need help. I'll see you Wednesday." he said.
The train derailment in Ohio led to plumes of smoke and polluted waterways. Toxic chemicals were also released into the atmosphere.
Visited a local creek in East Palestine today. These waterways are still very polluted. It’s time for Norfolk Southern to finish the cleanup. Check this video out: pic.twitter.com/4lsHBmrMJj— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) February 16, 2023
Consequently, forced evacuations began in East Palestine due to concerns about air quality and explosions.
"The vinyl chloride contents of five rail cars are currently unstable and could potentially explode, causing deadly disbursement of shrapnel and toxic fumes," DeWine's office said in a statement.
James Justice of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that crews monitoring the town's air quality "have not seen anything" unexpected.
While Ohio's EPA says that the water in East Palestine is "safe to drink," residents have posted videos showing quite the opposite.
Even MORE proof that the EPA is LYING to the people of East Palestine.— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) February 16, 2023
THIS WATER IS INSANELY CONTAMINATED. pic.twitter.com/rNlNxxBTDd
Furthermore, transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg downplayed the devastating events in Ohio by saying that there are "thousands of train derailments a year."
Pete Buttigieg on the Ohio train derailment disaster: "While this horrible situation has gotten a particularly high amount of attention, there are roughly 1,000 cases a year of a train derailing." pic.twitter.com/5NFtZnlDmg— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 16, 2023
It took the Biden administration over ten days to address the issues in Ohio. FEMA refused to assist the state, and the transportation secretary downplayed the events.
Yet as Trump announced his visit to East Palestine, the Biden administration flipped the switch on FEMA's previous refusal to help the people of Ohio. Politics should never come before the lives of American citizens.
Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.