President Joe Biden claims that he is too busy to visit East Palestine, Ohio, Fox News reports.
East Palestine, of course, is the town that has been devastated by the train derailment that took place in February of this year. The train was carrying dangerous chemicals that were released into the environment, polluting air and water. Locals continue to deal with the consequences to this day.
Notably, Biden has still not visited the site of the train derailment. More than six months have gone by since the disaster, and Biden has not made one stop there.
During a press conference on Saturday, Biden was asked when he is going to visit East Palestine.
"Well, I haven't had the occasion to go to East Palestine," Biden said. "There's a lot going on here, and I just haven't been able to break."
Biden continued by claiming that he "was thinking" about whether or not to "go to East Palestine this week." But, Biden claimed that he "was reminded" that he has to "go literally around the world," from "Washington to India to Vietnam."
Accordingly, Biden said, "It's going to be a while" before he visits East Palestine." But, Biden insisted that his administration is "making sure that East Palestine has what they need materially in order to deal with their problems."
To further put Biden's remarks, here, into context, they came during a press conference that was held in Live Oak, Florida, on Saturday. Biden visited the site in the wake of the destruction caused by Hurricane Idalia.
The larger context is that Biden has received heavy criticism for the way that he has responded to natural disasters. The East Palestine situation is a case in point.
Biden not visiting East Palestine is only a small part of the problem. The Washington Examiner reports:
Conflicting information and advice from government officials and an apparent reluctance on the part of federal figures such as Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to go to East Palestine eroded faith in the government's commitment to addressing the problem, and residents vented their frustrations at town halls and in meetings with Northfolk Southern representatives.
It was a similar situation with Maui wildfires.
Biden got himself into hot water by refusing to comment on the wildfires. Then, after much criticism was directed his way, he decided to take time out from his vacation to pay the island a visit. Reports indicate that the locals were not impressed.
Now, with regard to Hurricane Idalia, there are claims that, although Biden visited Florida, he avoided those areas of the state that were most devastated. Some claim that the only reason Biden made the trip at all was for a photo-op for his 2024 campaign.
Biden might just have the worst responses to natural disasters of any president in U.S. history.