Biden Visits, Pledges Another $500 Million to Ukraine—Ignores Ohio Train Disaster

While President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv, on Monday, announcing an additional half-billion dollars in U.S. assistance to support the country’s fight against Russia, he has not visited and is not providing assistance to East Palestine, Ohio.

Conservative Republicans have criticized the Biden administration’s response to the train derailment that happened in East Palestine, Ohio on Feb 3, prompting local authorities to evacuate nearly 5,000 locals as they disposed of vinyl chloride and other toxic chemicals that were onboard through controlled burning.

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, a Colorado Republican, compared Biden’s response to that of former President Donald Trump, who is visiting East Palestine next week, saying, “President Trump is heading to East Palestine next week. Biden has announced no such plans. Says everything.”

The Biden administration recently turned down a request for federal disaster assistance from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in the aftermath of the train derailment. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) told Ohio that it was not eligible for disaster assistance to help the community recover from the toxic spill. FEMA believed the incident didn’t qualify as a traditional disaster, such as a tornado or hurricane, for which it usually provides assistance. Instead, FEMA would deploy a Senior Response Official along with a Regional Incident Management Assistance Team to conduct incident coordination and ongoing assessments of potential long-term recovery needs.

Biden’s Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has also been absent from the scene.

Meanwhile, during his visit to Kyiv, Joe Biden delivered remarks and met with President Volodymyr Zelensky to reaffirm his administration’s commitment to supporting Ukraine, the country with which Biden’s son Hunter has conducted shady business dealings. Biden announced additional critical equipment, including artillery ammunition, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars.

“I am meeting with President Zelenskyy and his team for an extended discussion on our support for Ukraine,” Biden said on Monday. “I will announce another delivery of critical equipment, including artillery ammunition, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars to help protect the Ukrainian people from aerial bombardments. And I will share that later this week, we will announce additional sanctions against elites and companies that are trying to evade or backfill Russia’s war machine.”