Even though President Biden promised to visit East Palestine, Ohio, impacted by the toxic chemical spill, he has yet to do so.
On March 2, almost a month after the train derailment on February 3 that deposited deadly chemicals in the Ohio town, Biden announced that he would be visiting East Palestine at some point in the future.
On Friday, a White House official told the press that, as the President had said, he would visit East Palestine. They added that Biden is in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, a town that has endured tremendous tragedy: 13 people have lost their lives, and countless houses and businesses have been devastated.
They added the White House is as dedicated to helping this town recover as they are to helping the people of East Palestine, where national teams under the command of the President are still present to this day to aid with the response and ensure that Norfolk Southern is held accountable.
The official said the CDC has begun conducting door-to-door checks on families and has collected more than 1,000 health surveys.
The Department of Justice has stated that it will sue Norfolk Southern for damages and accountability.
The source stated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) arrived at the scene in East Palestine within about two hours of being notified of the derailment by Norfolk Southern.
According to the official, the state responded to the incident while the EPA coordinated the federal response. They immediately began investigating the incident, containing the damage, and monitoring the environmental effects.
Just after the train derailment, President Biden contacted governors Mike DeWine and Josh Shapiro to offer extra government aid. Biden’s staff has informed federal lawmakers and local officials of the response. The President has ordered his teams to provide the states with the necessary resources for as long as required.
Reporters asked Biden on Thursday if he planned to visit Ohio after he emerged from a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
In response, the President said he had maintained constant communication with every elected person in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Biden discussed his proposed solutions to the train catastrophe with senators and emphasized the importance of the legislation they would enact.
This was in reference to a bill presented last month by the two U.S. senators representing Ohio that would strengthen regulations governing the safety of trains.
President Biden promised he would visit but gave no specific date.
Biden contacted Ohio’s Republican governor, Mike DeWine, after the spill to offer federal assistance.
Ohio’s Republican governor, Mike DeWine, told reporters in February that Biden had called him after the spill to offer federal assistance. DeWine stated he had not called Biden back after that conversation but would not hesitate to do so if a problem arose.