The very same day that Ohio GOP Gov. Mike DeWine called out President Joe Biden to head over to East Palestine, Ohio, to pay a visit to those living in the area being directly affected by the Norfolk Southern train derailment, Biden issued a response to queries regarding the visiting of the area by outright dismissing the idea of visiting there in the immediate future.
The original train derailment took place back on February 3rd and forced close to 5,000 people to evacuate from the surrounding town. Additionally, close to tens of thousands of animals have reportedly died due to exposure to the corrosive and toxic chemicals that were released after the derailment.
“The president needs to come. The people want to see the president. He should be there,” expressed DeWine to Fox & Friends. “I just think now is the time, the president needs to come. It’s just important.”
However, when asked by reporters about whether or not he actually intended to pay a visit out to East Palestine, Biden answered, “I have spoken with every official in Ohio, Democrat and Republican, on a continuing basis… I will be out there at some point.”
Earlier this past week, Biden found himself the target of Rep Bill Johnson (R-OH), who stated:
President Biden has been conspicuously silent. … Mr. President, it’s past time for you to make the short trip to east Palestine and show up for the 5,000 Americans who call that little small Appalachian village. You pride yourself on your “Lunchbucket Joe” nickname and tout your blue-collar Scranton, Pennsylvania roots, but Mr. President, there is nowhere more blue-collar than East Ohio and no people more deserving of hearing directly from their president right now than the residents of East Palestine. They want comfort. They wanna know you care. And they want commitment.
A group of researchers hailing from Texas A&M University and Carnegie Mellon University went in to test the air around East Palestine back on February 20 and 21. Their tests showed that Benzene, toluene, xylenes, and vinyl chloride have not reached the marked minimal risk levels for intermediate exposures as expressed in the standards implemented by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
However, Acrolein, which is used on plants, algae, and rodents, and is known to inflict inflammation on the respiratory tract and mucous membranes, as explained by the CDC, was found to be extremely elevated.
“It’s not elevated to the point where it’s necessarily like an immediate ‘evacuate the building’ health concern,” stated the associate research professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon’s Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, Dr. Albert Presto, to CNN. “But, you know, we don’t know necessarily what the long-term risk is or how long that concentration that causes that risk will persist.”