The Biden administration is blaming its predecessors for major issues facing East Palestine, Ohio after the major train derailment and chemical disaster there.
The Feb. 3 crash resulted in a massive spill and burnoff of dangerous chemicals. The derailment and fire were followed by a number of mass animal deaths. Current estimates are more than 40,000 wildlife casualties.
Biden administration officials went on a press offensive this week, focusing significant blame on former President Trump and Republicans in Congress.
In particular, the Biden administration officials claim that the crash occurred due to changes in regulations during President Trump’s tenure. White House spokesman Andrew Bates stated that the Trump administration ended an Obama-era proposal to strengthen brakes on trains carrying similar hazardous materials as those in East Palestine.
Following the White House’s criticism, similar narratives emerged in national press outlets.
The fingerpointing from Democratic officials follows considerable criticism of the Biden administration’s response to the crash. The lack of public reaction from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was harshly rebuked by Republicans.
The White House’s criticism has little evidence to back it up. While the Trump administration did reform EPA rules, none had a direct effect on what happened in Ohio in early February. Furthermore, Buttigieg received particular criticism for a perceived lack of attention to the area.
A recent interview with the head of the National Transportation Safety Board Jennifer Homendy confirmed that such brakes would not have prevented the crash. There is no evidence that the actions of former President Trump had any effect on the crash itself.
WATCH: NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy says the brake rule Buttigieg and Joy Behar blamed President Trump for repealing 'would not have prevented' the East Palestine derailment.
"The wheel bearing failed on car number 23. So even with ECP brakes, the derailment would have occurred." pic.twitter.com/AECPta0T5F
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) February 24, 2023
The White House is also under considerable pressure following former President Trump’s visit to the devastated area Wednesday. Trump distributed food, water and cleaning supplies to the people of the area and spoke publicly.
The former president’s visit nearly coincided with a high-profile visit by President Biden to Ukraine. Biden’s visit to the foreign nation of Ukraine drew criticism from some Republicans since the president has not announced any plans to visit the disaster right here in America.