Since vowing months ago to visit the scene of the hazardous train crash in East Palestine, Ohio, President Biden has said he hasn’t been able to take a break despite recently enjoying a nearly eight-day vacation in Nevada.
About five cars’ worth of hazardous vinyl chloride were burnt off in a controversial controlled explosion from the stranded Norfolk Southern train.
The tragedy sent toxic substances into the environment, poisoning the land, the air, and the water.
At a news conference on Saturday in Live Oak, Florida, during his brief journey to survey Hurricane Idalia’s damage, Biden was questioned why he hasn’t yet fulfilled his March vow to visit the Ohio hamlet.
“I haven’t had the chance to travel to East Palestine,” Biden told reporters. He said, “A lot is happening,” and he can’t escape it all.
Nearly a week after returning from a vacation with his family in Nevada and 211 days after the train derailed on February 3, he made stunning comments.
President Biden has spent 382 of his first 957 days in office on overnight visits outside the White House, more time off than any of his previous predecessors.
Biden said he would go to East Palestine on March 2 “at some point,” but he wouldn’t know when.
Pete Buttigieg, the secretary of transportation, came under fire for delaying three weeks to visit the devastated neighborhood after the tragedy. Notably, EPA Administrator Michael Regan had called about a week prior.
Before spending parts of his Labor Day weekend at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, President Biden visited areas of Florida damaged by Hurricane Idalia on Saturday.
From September 7-10, Biden will visit India, stopping in Hanoi, Vietnam, along the way.
On the eve of the 22nd anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, he will break with custom and spend it in Alaska.
When queried by reporters on August 13 at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, about the mounting death toll in Maui, Biden responded with “no comment,” sparking a wave of criticism.
Then, on August 21st, he decided to pay a visit.
After spending some time in Nevada at the Lake Tahoe home of a Democratic millionaire, Biden jetted out to the islands of Hawaii.
He returned to Lake Tahoe after seeing the destruction firsthand.