Donald Trump Visits Ohio Train Derailment Site, Offers ‘Trump’ Branded Water Bottles
Armed with “Trump” branded water bottles, Donald Trump visited the site of a recent train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
A controlled explosion by Norfolk Southern, the train operator, followed the train crash, leaving residents weary of the explosion’s environmental damage and health impacts.
“You are not forgotten,” Trump said in a speech at the East Palestine Fire Department. He was flanked by Republican supporters and recently elected Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio).
Trump berated the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for its response to the disaster. He claimed that help should have come “two weeks earlier, or at least a week earlier.”
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“If they don’t come back and give you the treatment that you need, we will come back,” Trump said, referencing a federal response he has continuously criticized.
The train carried 115,580 gallons of vinyl chloride, a colorless gas that produces PVC piping. The gas is considered hazardous, leaving area residents skeptical of the region’s water sources, soil and air.
Trump distributed thousands of water bottles with the “Trump” brand labeling.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been critical of Republican tactics to use the train derailment as a political cudgel against Democrats.
“A lot of the folks who seem to find political opportunity there are among those who have sided with the rail industry again and again and again, as they have fought safety regulations on railroads and hazmat, tooth and nail,” Buttigieg said ahead of his scheduled Thursday visit. “If people are going to find religion about rail regulation, sometimes for the first time, I welcome that.”
Critics of Trump have pointed to his administration’s attempts to remove rail industry regulations. Trump killed a 2015 regulation mandating modernized braking equipment on trains carrying “large volumes of flammable liquids.” The law was created after several deadly derailments.
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