Ohioans React to Trump Visiting Their Town After Toxic Train Derailment As They Rip Biden’s Ukraine Trip
On Wednesday, residents of East Palestine, Ohio, welcomed former President Donald Trump to their town while offering harsh criticism to President Joe Biden for his recent visit to Ukraine, as they continue to recover from the train derailment earlier this month that caused devastating toxic chemicals to be released into the air and water.
Residents of the area lined up on the street outside the local restaurant The Original Roadhouse to see and visit with the former president during his visit.
Senator JD Vance has arrived pic.twitter.com/mx1OhJ1J6f
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Trump donated pallets of water and cleaning supplies to help residents impacted by a controlled burn conducted more than two weeks ago to prevent an explosion from a Norfolk Southern train. The visit came as residents remain concerned about the long-term effects that could result from the derailment, even after the cleanup efforts which are currently underway.
“I’m so glad he’s taken an interest in our tiny town,” Jennifer Lohr told the DCNF. “For him to come down on his own dime to help us out, to say ‘what can he do’ … even his presence here is drawing us attention and that’s all we need is attention, so we’re not forgotten.”
She said that the town is in need of “truth” and that “like him or not [Trump] is going to tell the truth.”
“We know that the water is okay right this second that’s coming out of the tap. It’s not okay in the wells. It’s not okay in the creeks. That’s what needs to be told,” Lohr said. “The air is raining down on us right now and causing nerve problems. It’s causing people with immune deficiency diseases to worsen. It’s not okay just because the vinyl chloride level might be where it’s supposed to be.”
On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that 550 homes had been screened for hazardous chemicals and that there was no detection of vinyl chloride or hydrogen chloride. EPA Administrator Michael Regan and Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) drank tap water on video to prove to the residents that the water is safe.
Meanwhile, Biden visited Kyiv, Ukraine, on Monday, to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and announced the United States would send $500 million in aid to support the country’s military efforts against Russia.
Many felt that Biden’s trip wasn’t shocking.
“It wasn’t really surprising. It sounds like something he would do, so it doesn’t surprise me at all. And it doesn’t surprise me that Trump decided to come out here for us, so if he gets to hear this tell him we all appreciate it out here,” resident Michael Viccari, who was outside the restaurant to watch Trump arrive, told the Daily Caller.
Adam Radogna, an Ohio resident, said that it “speaks a lot of words” that Trump visited East Palestine while Biden went to Ukraine.
William Hugar, another resident, also took issue with Biden’s Ukraine visit, wondering why the president is sending money overseas when he hasn’t “acknowledged East Palestine.”
“The federal government, Biden, has not acknowledged East Palestine so I’m a little bit unhappy about that,” he said. “The first week that it happened Biden was too busy popping Chinese balloons.”
Several residents have also expressed concern for their health in the weeks following the crash and controlled burn. A newly opened health clinic will screen all visitors for free and “is operated by Ohio Department of Health in partnership with the Columbiana County Health Department and with support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,” according to the news release.
The clinic is reportedly booked through Thursday.
“We don’t want to move from here. Even if we had the opportunity we don’t want to move. This is our home, we all grew up here. Everybody that’s on this main road I pretty much know,” one resident told the Daily Caller, adding that Trump’s visit brought “hope” to the village. “They’re more than friends, they’re our family … that’s the one nice thing about this town.”
The fallout from the derailment is “scarier than you think,” said the resident who said that her 5-year-old child became sick after visiting the local park.
Trump also commented on Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s response to the train derailment while meeting with reporters near the local McDonald’s. Buttigieg will visit East Palestine tomorrow, which Trump alleged was in response to his own visit.
“He should have been here a long time ago,” Trump said. “Now he was supposed to come today but he heard I was coming today and postponed it, but whenever he comes he’s got to do his job and if we didn’t come, they never would have come.”