Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced Wednesday that he would finally be visiting East Palestine, Ohio, the sight of a train derailment and chemical spill on February 3rd, on Thursday.
The move comes after Buttigieg stated earlier this week that he would visit East Palestine, “When the time is right,” as previously reported by the DC Enquirer.
The right time appears to be now, as it was announced on Wednesday, the same day that President Trump visited the town, that Buttigieg will visit East Palestine on Thursday to experience the crisis firsthand.
“The Secretary is going now that the EPA has said it is moving out of the emergency response phase and transitioning to the long-term remediation phase. His visit also coincides with the NTSB issuing its factual findings of the investigation into the cause of the derailment and will allow the secretary to hear from USDOT investigators who were on the ground within hours of the derailment to support the NTSB’s investigation,” a spokesperson stated Wednesday.
The move comes after weeks of outcry at the lack of action or urgency of the Biden administration to address the crisis in East Palestine. Buttigieg especially has come under immense scrutiny from the residents of East Palestine, as well as critics all across the nation. Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) has risen as a very vocal critic of Buttigieg and the inaction of the Department of Transportation.
JD VANCE: "The leaders of this country have decided to disregard the people of East Palestine" pic.twitter.com/mceFhtYhVC
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) February 14, 2023
Last week, Senator Vance visited East Palestine in an effort to raise awareness of what has happened to the city. In a video posted to his Twitter account, Senator Vance showed what happened when he ran a stick along a small creek bed in East Palestine. As he scraped the stick along the stream, chemicals began to rise out of the water, painting a very concerning picture of the state of the water in East Palestine.
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
The move by Buttigieg comes on the same day that former President Donald Trump visited East Palestine. Trump brought with him food, water, and supplies for the city, and also paid for meals for the local police and fire department, as well as citizens in the city.
Tens of thousands of pounds of goods, food, water being delivered to the people of East Palestine, Ohio right now before Trump’s visit.
Trump paid for all of it.
Number of goods delivered from the Biden Administration: 0. pic.twitter.com/QQADqZl9Uy
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) February 22, 2023
When asked what his message was to President Biden, Trump kept it short and sweet, “Get over here.”
I asked President Trump what his message to Joe Biden was.
His response: “Get over here.” pic.twitter.com/eX9pKargCq
— Savanah Hernandez (@sav_says_) February 22, 2023
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