Biden finally decides to visit East Palestine, a year after the train derailment

 February 2, 2024

President Joe Biden is finally going to visit East Palestine, Ohio - the location of the devastating trail derailment that occurred roughly one year ago. 

The White House announced the stop on Jan. 31, 2024.

The big question, of course, is: "Why now?" Why did Biden wait until now - a year after the derailment - to make a visit?

Some, according to the Daily Caller, are suggesting that Biden is making the stop to help with his election campaign. There will be more on this in a moment, including the White House's narrative.

The White House's announcement

In its announcement, the White House only said that Biden will travel to East Palestine at some point in February 2024. It did not give a specific date.

The lengthy announcement, in part, reads:

In February, President Biden will travel to East Palestine, Ohio, to meet with residents impacted by the Norfolk Southern train derailment, discuss Federal support to the community, and hold Norfolk Southern accountable.

The rest of the announcement focuses on the Biden administration's response, over the past year, to the derailment, which occurred on Feb. 3, 2023. The reader will likely remember that, as a result of the derailment, toxic chemicals were spilled, causing trouble for the nearby community.

There is little doubt that the reason why the White House, in its announcement, emphasizes the Biden administration's response to the disaster is to push back on criticism that the administration has not done enough to address the disaster.

Biden has also faced significant criticism for not personally visiting the disaster site, despite promising to do so. The reader may remember that Biden, only after much criticism, decided to send Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to the site.

A campaign stop?

The White House has tried to claim that Biden has not visited the disaster site because it would have done no good. It appears that the White House is sticking to this narrative.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre recently said:

[Biden is] looking forward to going to East Palestine team in February. We’re going to find the day that works best for the folks on the ground. He’s always said that, when the time was right, when it was the most helpful for him to be there, he was going to be there.

Apparently, the time is now "right." GOP advisor Scott Jennings, however, sees things differently.

He recently told the Daily Caller:

I think they have all these gaping political wounds, and they are just scrambling to put tiny band-aids on any of it in the hopes that it will stage the bleeding enough to get them over the finish line. But I wouldn’t mistake any of this for actual care about what happened in Ohio for actual care of what’s happening at the border. They don’t care. They care about winning elections and they care about political power.

It is up to you, the reader, to determine which explanation, for Biden's trip, is more plausible.

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