Biden outrages Americans, says he can't visit Ohio 'at present'
On Friday, the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Jennier Homendy, told CNN Live that the train derailment in East Palestine Ohio could have 100% been prevented.
US President Joe Biden told reporters on Saturday that he does not plan to visit the site of the Ohio train derailment, which took place on February 3rd in East Palestine, Ohio, and has caused an environmental catastrophe of unprecedented scale in the area due to the spill of toxic chemicals that came out of the train cars.
Biden said he couldn't be there at present but defended his administration by saying they "were there within two hours."
"The answer is that I had a long meeting with my team and what they're doing. You know, we were there within two hours that the train went down, two hours," he said.
Biden added that he directed federal agencies to check on the affected families, including "walk teams" from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Environmental Protection Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency will visit homes in East Palestine.
NEW: Pres. Biden tells reporters he has no plans to visit East Palestine, but defends admin response, saying they were on the ground within 2 hours. pic.twitter.com/xnwTD4xOc8— Nathaniel Reed (@ReedReports) February 24, 2023
On Friday, the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Jennier Homendy, told CNN Live that the train derailment in East Palestine Ohio could have 100% been prevented - if only crews had been given an earlier warning that the axle bearing was overheated.
"We call things accidents – there is no accident. Every single event that we investigate is preventable," she said.
The National Transportation Safety Board releases its preliminary report on the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. @NTSB Chief Jennifer Homendy explains why she calls the wreck “100 percent preventable.” pic.twitter.com/PTuy2sMGYE— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) February 23, 2023
Her statements are directed against Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg's assessment of the train wreck on Thursday, as the latter slammed former US President Donald Trump for claiming he had ‘nothing to do’ with the deregulation of the rail industry.
Trump, a day earlier, said it was "terrible" that Biden decided to not visit East Palestine. Several other Republicans have chastised the Democrat President for prioritizing Ukraine over East Palestine.
Read more: Trump hopes Biden has fund leftover for East Palestine after Ukraine
On Tuesday, Biden tweeted that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered Norfolk Southern to clean up the toxic spills.
Today, the @EPA ordered the train company, Norfolk Southern, to pay for the clean-up and disposal of hazardous materials.— President Biden (@POTUS) February 21, 2023
This is common sense. This is their mess. They should clean it up.
On February 3, a train hauling 20 cars with hazardous materials derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, resulting in a big fire and leading to officials burning vinyl chloride inside five of the tanker cars to avoid a catastrophic explosion.
The chemicals inside the cars were diverted and burned, letting off into the environment toxic chemicals such as hydrogen chloride and phosgene.
Local activists informed Sputnik news agency that residents are enduring severe health impacts due to the spills, including headaches, burning skin, and irritated eyes, despite authorities claiming that the water and air were harmless.
It is estimated that 44,000 aquatic creatures have died in waterways as a result of the disaster, as per the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Read more: Zakharova: US actively covering up Ohio catastrophe