Sarah May
February 23, 2023
11:45 pm

Donald Trump visits East Palestine derailment site to deliver water and supplies

As the residents of East Palestine, Ohio continue to grapple with the aftermath of the Norfolk Southern train derailment that has many fearing for their continued health, former President Donald Trump arrived on Wednesday to deliver truckloads of drinking water, cleaning supplies, and a message of support, as Breitbart reports.

Trump's visit stood in stark contrast from the response offered by top Biden administration officials such as the president himself and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who have drawn significant criticism for their hands-off approach to the disaster.

The former president's trip to East Palestine was accompanied by his donation of over a dozen pallets of “Trump Spring Water” and thousands of gallons of cleaning supplies, and he also took time to meet with community members and local government officials, as Fox News noted.

Also stopping by what is known to be one of his favorite eating establishments, Trump also paid a visit to a local McDonald's, where he treated local police and firefighters to a meal, humorously telling the cashier, “So, I know this menu better than you do. I probably know it better than anybody in here.”

Commenting on Trump's decision to travel to Ohio was Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for the former commander-in-chief, who said, “President Trump is meeting with the citizens of East Palestine, and he will never forget them at what they are going through.”

“Contrast that with Biden and the federal government, who have failed them from the beginning,” Cheung added.

Further highlighting the differences in approach between the current president and his predecessor was John Rourke, CEO of Blue Line Moving, responsible for delivering the pallets containing more than 14,000 bottles of water to the beleaguered town.

“Joe Biden/Pete Buttigieg stay away! The real president is here taking care of American citizens,” Rourke said, also getting in a dig at Biden's decision to visit Ukraine this week rather than tend to the needs of his countrymen in crisis.

The latter sentiment was shared by East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway, who said earlier this week, as The Hill noted, that Biden's prioritization of Ukraine was “the biggest slap in the face that tells you right now, he doesn't care about us.”

Journalist Savannah Hernandez took to Twitter to post footage of local residents lining the road in anticipation of Trump's arrival, many of whom were chanting “No more Joe” as they waited for a glimpse of the former president.

At long last, amid mounting criticism of their absence in East Palestine, it was announced Wednesday that Buttigieg would indeed travel to Ohio on Thursday, which he ultimately did, surveying the derailment site with officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and others.

In addition to his seemingly impractical choice of leather dress boots for tromping through the remaining wreckage, Buttigieg attracted criticism for ignoring reporters' questions and leaving his press secretary to navigate the journalistic minefield.

Hernandez was among those who attempted to elicit a comment from Buttigieg during his visit, asking, “Mayor Pete, why did it take you an entire two-and-a-half weeks to actually get here to respond to East Palestine? Will you apologize to the residents of this city for the slow response?” Buttigieg ignored the question, while his press secretary, Kerry Arndt, demanded that reporters turn off their cameras lest she refuse to further engage with them.

Given the timing of Buttigieg's belated visit as well as a flurry of late-night phone calls made Tuesday night by Biden to a host of officials assisting on the ground in Ohio, it appears that the administration's sudden surge of attention to the plight of East Palestine was not borne out of any sense of genuine concern, but rather their fear that Trump would win the optics battle and boost his prospects for 2024.

Written By:
Sarah May

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