by Alexa Schwerha
Former President Donald Trump will visit East Palestine, Ohio, on Wednesday after a train derailment caused a toxic chemical plume to pollute the town, a source familiar with the plan told Fox News.
Trump will visit with members of the community who are dealing with the aftermath of a Norfolk Southern train derailment that occurred earlier this month, the source told Fox News. The derailment led to the evacuation of nearly 2,000 residents before a controlled release was performed to prevent an explosion, which subsequently released a hazardous mixture of chemicals into the air and water.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that the air and water are safe, but residents have reportedly shared that they are experiencing rashes and headaches. There are also reports of sick animals and thousands of dead fish in local streams.
The EPA tested 500 homes and planned to test over two dozen more as of Friday and detected no sign of chemicals related to the train derailment, according to the most recent Ohio Emergency Medical Agency update. While water testing shows the water is reportedly safe to drink, residents are advised to continue drinking bottled water until their private wells are tested.
Trump has a strong connection to the Ohio people, the source told Fox News. Trump, who was the first Republican to announce a bid for the 2024 election, won the state by eight points in 2020, according to Politico.
He won the state by 8.6 points in 2016, Politico reported.
The Biden administration faced criticism for their slow response to the disaster. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg broke his silence about the derailment 10 days after it occurred and posted a Twitter thread expressing concern for the town.
“I continue to be concerned about the impacts of the Feb 3 train derailment near East Palestine, OH, and the effects on families in the ten days since their lives were upended through no fault of their own,” Buttigieg tweeted. “It’s important that families have access to useful & accurate information.”
Buttigieg told Yahoo! Finance on Thursday that there are “roughly one thousand cases a year of a train derailing.”
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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Alexa Schwerha is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Donald Trump” by Trump White House Archived.