President Trump Visits East Palestine Derailment Site

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump visited East Palestine, Ohio, following the train derailment that occurred there earlier this month. The incident, which saw several cars carrying hazardous materials, led to a controlled burn of vinyl chloride in the area.

In a speech at a firehouse roughly half a mile from the derailment site, Trump criticized the federal response to the disaster, calling it a “betrayal.” He said the community needed “answers and results, not excuses.”

The trip offered Trump an opportunity to survey the disaster damage and meet with residents following tragic events, a role he often held as president. Trump praised the staff of the Federal Emergency Management Agency while offering criticism of its role in the response.

Trump also donated cleaning supplies and Trump-branded bottled water to residents concerned about their water supply’s contamination.

The former president also stopped by a local McDonald’s where he gave away hats, ordered meals for first responders, and got food for his flight home. “Thank you for not forgetting about us,” a woman told Trump during his visit to the fast-food chain.

Trump told one of the restaurant’s employees: “So, I know this menu better than you do. I probably know it better than anybody in here” He then said he was buying meals for the town’s police and fire department employees and all the customers present.

The derailment occurred on February 3, leading to evacuations and concerns about environmental contamination after a controlled burning of toxic chemicals to prevent an explosion. The disaster has become the latest front in America’s political divide, with Trump criticizing the federal response and the White House.

Residents of East Palestine have complained of headaches, irritated eyes, and other ailments. Thousands of fish have been found dead, and residents have reported numerous dying or sick pets and wildlife. In addition, vinyl chloride, the gas that spilled and burned after the derailment, is associated with an increased risk of certain cancers.

Trump’s visit to the area came immediately after Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine and that war-torn nation’s president Volodymyr Zelensky. Biden has not yet visited the location of the disastrous chemical spill in Ohio.

Norfolk Southern, the train company, has pledged to the East Palestine community that they will stay there as long as it takes to ensure their safety and help them recover and thrive.

Trump announced last year that he is seeking another term in the White House. He will face competition during the GOP presidential primary. In the last week, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced her presidential bid, and conservative media figure Vivek Ramaswamy announced that he is running for president.