There are legitimate questions about President Joe Biden's cognitive capabilities and mental health, and those were only bolstered by his recent remarks about his administration's response to the Feb. 3 toxic train derailment near East Palestine, Ohio.
Biden scoffed dismissively at criticism from the East Palestine mayor and said that he "can't recall" if he'd talked to him -- even as he insisted that he'd personally spoken with "everyone there is to talk to," according to Breitbart.
The president and his administration have been sharply criticized for what has been perceived by some to be a lackluster and uncaring response to the derailment that resulted in the leakage and burning of carcinogenic toxic chemicals and prompted real health concerns for residents in the surrounding area.
On Monday, as President Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine while in Eastern Europe, East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway appeared on Fox News and said, "That was the biggest slap in the face. 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.
On Friday, following his return from Europe, Biden sat for an interview with ABC News anchor David Muir about how his administration had responded to the toxic train derailment incident and some of the criticism that had followed.
"It’s been three weeks now since the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, as you know," Muir said. "The mayor says he saw you in Ukraine and he says, it tells you 'he doesn’t care about us.' They’re asking, is the President coming to Ohio? Do you have any plan to travel to Ohio, and have you talked with the mayor yet?"
According to Mediaite, President Biden "scoffed" dismissively and smirked as Muir recounted what the mayor had said and then dodged the question about meeting or speaking with the mayor as he attempted to explain how his administration had, in fact, responded appropriately to the derailment and resultant environmental disaster.
"Let’s put this in perspective, within two hours of that derailment, the EPA was in there, within two hours. Every major agency in the United States government that’s had anything to do with rail and/or cleanup was there and is there," Biden said.
He added, "In addition to that, I’ve spoken at length to the congresspersons, the governors, the senators from both states of Pennsylvania and Ohio. And I’ve made it clear to them, anything they need is available or we’ll make it available to them."
Muir reiterated his initial question about whether Biden had any plans to travel to East Palestine and if he had spoken with the mayor yet.
"I can’t recall whether I’ve -- I don’t think I’ve talked to the mayor," the president replied. "I’ve talked to everyone else there, multiple times. I’ve talked to both the senators, both governors, I’ve talked to everyone there is to talk to, and we’ve made it clear that everything is available.
Biden says he “can’t recall” if he spoke to the mayor of East Palestine, Ohio, within the past three weeks. pic.twitter.com/kvVbtlmaUQ
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 25, 2023
Also on Friday, when asked by reporters at the White House if he was planning to visit East Palestine, Biden remarked, "At this time, I'm not."