'Biggest slap in the face': East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway slams President Joe Biden's Kyiv visit while Ohio burns with toxic chemicals
EAST PALESTINE, OHIO: Trent Conaway, the highly discontented mayor of East Palestine, Ohio, lambasted US President Joe Biden's surprise trip to Ukraine and accused the 80-year-old of neglecting domestic responsibilities. Conaway has been constantly voicing his concern for the inhabitants after dangerous chemicals were leaked into the air of the town following a train derailment.
The mayor expressed his frustrations and had strong words for Joe Biden when he was asked about the government's handling of the toxic spill as news of Biden's sudden visit to Kyiv circulated. "That was the biggest slap in the face," Conaway said on 'Jesse Watters Primetime' on Monday, February 20, 2023. "That tells you right now he doesn’t care about us. He can send every agency he wants to, but I found out this morning that he was in Ukraine giving millions of dollars away to people over there and not to us…on President's Day in our country, so I'm furious," the mayor added.
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East Palestine, Ohio, Mayor Trent Conaway on Biden going to Ukraine:— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) February 21, 2023
"That was the biggest slap in the face. That tells you right now he doesn't care about us." pic.twitter.com/vfbYdpK09x
Biden administration under the scanner
The US government is facing a lot of heat for the way it handled the incident. The Biden administration even declined to approve a FEMA disaster declaration, while claiming that the crisis in East Palestine does not meet the legal requirements for an official declaration. The agency, however, has deployed resources to the city to help with ongoing assessments as residents of the place remain worried about the air and water quality following the spill.
Pete Buttigieg, the United States Secretary of Transportation, has also faced a lot of criticism as he waited for 10 days before addressing the disaster on Twitter. "What happened in East Palestine is unacceptable," Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said on Fox News before blasting Buttigieg. "And I gotta say, Secretary Buttigieg has been nowhere to be found on this issue," Cruz continued, adding, "You know, it really is a remarkable thing that he hasn't gone to East Palestine to see what happened there. He hasn't come to Congress to explain what happened … I know he's got aspirations, but he actually has a day job -- he has a job he's been appointed to do that is incredibly important. And we need serious leadership." Rep Matt Gaetz posted on Twitter, "When our border is in crisis, Joe Biden goes home to nap in Delaware. When Ohio burns with toxic chemicals, Biden’s admin says everything is fine. So on Presidents’ Day, I’m not surprised that Biden is ditching America for Ukraine."
What happened in East Palestine, Ohio is unacceptable.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 16, 2023
And yet, Biden’s Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has been nowhere to be found. pic.twitter.com/OYeVMA4LQC
I continue to be concerned about the impacts of the Feb 3 train derailment near East Palestine, OH, and the effects on families in the ten days since their lives were upended through no fault of their own. It’s important that families have access to useful & accurate information:— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) February 14, 2023
When our border is in crisis, Joe Biden goes home to nap in Delaware.— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) February 20, 2023
When Ohio burns with toxic chemicals, Biden’s admin says everything is fine.
So on Presidents’ Day, I’m not surprised that Biden is ditching America for Ukraine. He ditched America’s interests since the… https://t.co/svkwSunZTJ
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio has also written to President Joe Biden, calling on Buttigieg to resign. Democratic Representatives Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota directly called out Buttigieg to "address the tragedy" and ensure it "never happens again."
East Palestine railroad derailment will have a significant negative impact on the health and wellbeing of the residents for decades and there is almost zero national media attention.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 13, 2023
We need Congressional inquiry and direct action from @PeteButtigieg to address this tragedy. https://t.co/I42g4fXWsz
The rail industry continues to put profits over the health of their workers & our residents. This train derailment has burned off hazardous chemicals & fumes linked to cancer that are toxic to this community & our environment. @SecretaryPete must ensure this never happens again. https://t.co/ZqlAKfrXiD— Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) February 13, 2023
West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, whose state borders Ohio, said in a statement, "While I am glad EPA Administrator Regan will visit the site today, it is unacceptable that it took nearly two weeks for a senior Administration official to show up. I urge President Biden, Administrator Regan, and Transportation Secretary Buttigieg to provide a complete picture of the damage and a comprehensive plan to ensure the community is supported in the weeks, months and years to come, and this sort of accident never happens again."
Conaway wants more resources
Mayor Conaway and other residents have urged the administration to provide more assistance, claiming that the resources available on the ground are insufficient. "What East Palestine needs is much more expansive than what FEMA can provide," a Biden administration official told Fox News Digital, adding, "FEMA is on the frontlines when there is a hurricane or tornado. This situation is different."
Local residents have been advised to use bottled water, although the water from the city of East Palestine has been tested and is considered safe. Hundreds of air samples from homes in the area indicated no present toxins.
'It’s Susan Rice & Obama running the country'
Twitter users also criticized Biden for not giving much importance to the tragedy that occurred in Ohio. One user tweeted, "Ohio needs a good hype man like Zelinsky. After he gets Joey all lubed up maybe he can slip a couple billion to Ohio." One user opined, "I do think biden should go to palestine, ohio. i also think he can do both."
Another tweeted, "BIDEN is a TRAITOR & on Presidents Day he shows up In Ukraine & not East Palestine????????? Mayor Conaway - #lenny glaven - Get a Lawyer to represent U before talking to CEO ??? Every person in that town should move out and get a relocation package immediately upfront money !"
One Twitter user wrote, "Really discouraging Ole Joe, he probably thinks he’s in Ohio. It’s Susan Rice & Obama running the country." "The President doesn't care about America!" tweeted another.
The President doesn't care about America!— Sherry Hackman (@sherhack6966) February 21, 2023
Really discouraging Ole Joe, he probably thinks he’s in Ohio. It’s Susan Rice & Obama running the country— Mel 🇺🇸🇬🇧✝️ (@topcatwomans) February 21, 2023
BIDEN is a TRAITOR & on Presidents Day he shows up In Ukraine 🇺🇦 & not East Palestine????????? Mayor Conaway - #lenny glaven - Get a Lawyer to represent U before talking to CEO ??? Every person in that town should move out and get a relocation package immediately upfront money !— Debra Stanton (@DebraSt87543978) February 21, 2023
i do think biden should go to palestine, ohio. i also think he can do both.— Elon Musk Sucks (@ChloeCarl5) February 21, 2023
Ohio needs a good hype man like Zelinsky. After he gets Joey all lubed up maybe he can slip a couple billion to Ohio.— JD (@Jeff99GSX2) February 21, 2023
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