President Joe Biden will visit East Palestine, Ohio, to mark the one-year anniversary of the devastating train derailment, the White House announced Wednesday.
Biden will see his way clear to meet with residents impacted by the derailment and the hazardous chemicals that were subsequently spilled into the community, Bloomberg News reports.
The White House said Biden will address his administration’s progress in working with state and local leaders to protect the community and hold Norfolk Southern accountable for their actions.
Biden was heavily criticized at the time of the incident for never visiting in the weeks and months that followed the February 3, 2023, disaster.
Residents were finally given the all-clear to return to their homes February 8 but not before toxic vinyl chloride gas was vented and burned, releasing a plume of black smoke over the town for days.
On their return they were met by President Donald Trump who visited East Palestine after the accident, where he delivered truckloads of bottled water to residents.
“President Trump is meeting with the citizens of East Palestine, and he will never forget them and what they are going through. Contrast that with Biden and the federal government, who have failed them from the beginning,” Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung told Breitbart News at the time.
As recently as last September Biden claimed he has not “had the occasion” to go East Palestine despite promising to do so in March, after the train derailment resulted in a toxic chemical spill that led to air and water contamination of the village, as Breitbart News reported.
Earlier this month, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked whether President Biden still had plans to visit East Palestine, Ohio. She told reporters, “The president will visit when it’s most helpful to the community.”
As Breitbart News’ Sean Moran reported, Biden flew directly over East Palestine last August on his way to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for an event promoting “Bidenomics,” his economic agenda.