LIVE OAK, FL — President Biden appeared to have changed his tune on a possible visit to East Palestine, Ohio.
The president told The Washington Times during his visit to Florida to assess damage caused by Hurricane Idalia that he was “thinking of going this week.”
The only thing in Mr. Biden’s way is a packed schedule that sends the president to New Delhi, India, for the G20 Leaders’ Summit on Thursday, a point Mr. Biden had to be reminded of.
Mr. Biden has yet to visit East Palestine since the train derailment.
In February, roughly 50 cars carrying hazardous materials derailed on a Norkfolk Southern-owned train. The cars spewed toxic chemicals that caused a large chemical fire and flung toxic gas into the atmosphere causing residents to evacuate.
Top officials from the Biden administration, including Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, have made the trip.
Even Mr. Biden’s top political rival, former President Donald Trump, has visited the community before him.
The president and his administration have faced months of criticism over the federal response to the train derailment in East Palestine, particularly over the lack of a major disaster declaration.
Ohio lawmakers at the federal and state levels have urged the Biden administration to respond to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s request for a major disaster declaration, which lawmakers say would unlock additional resources to aid East Palestine. Mr. DeWine, Ohio Republican, made the request in July.
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