During their separate visits to East Palestine, Ohio this week, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and former President Donald Trump had much different messages for the citizens of the community being ravaged by a toxic train derailment.
Buttigieg told the community that he’s now ready to “move on” to policymaking, where he’ll leverage the tragedy to impose new regulations.
Trump told the community that he won’t forget about them and that – if the Biden Administration doesn’t attend to their needs – he’ll come back to do help do it himself.
“Having these factual findings is an important step to being able to move on to the phase of policymaking,” Buttigieg told reporters in East Palestine:
“And while we will, of course, wait for [NTSB’s] analysis and recommendations at the end of the full process to make certain judgments, we will not wait for that process to run its course to continue doing everything we can to raise the bar on rail safety and to hold people accountable.”
“You are not forgotten; you are not forgotten,” Trump reassured the citizens of East Palestine during his visit on Wednesday, as he donated clean water and cleaning supplies to those suffering the ongoing effects of the environmental disaster on February 3.
Biden and FEMA initially reacted to the toxic disaster with indifference, betraying the people of East Palestine, Trump said:
“Unfortunately, as you know, in too many cases, your goodness and perseverance, you were met with indifference – and betrayal, in some cases. Biden and FEMA said they would not send federal aid to East Palestine, under any circumstances. They’re not going to send aid, and I thought that was a strange statement.”
But, after he announced he was going to East Palestine to help, the Biden Administration suddenly decided to send FEMA and provide aid, Trump said:
“When I announced that I was coming, they changed their tune. It was an amazing phenomenon. The mayor and I were discussing that. It was quite amazing what happened. And, they said, ‘We can’t let this happen!’ It was a big change of face.”
Still, if the Biden Administration doesn’t provide East Palestine all the help it needs, “We will be back,” Trump promised:
“We’re going to find time to come back, if necessary. If they don’t come back and give you the treatment that you need, we will be back, The Biden Administration should ensure that every family has the option of moving, and homes and everything else, until this thing is straightened out.”
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