The forgotten man of the Midwest has been struck by grave tragedies this past month. While he’s still discovering how the train derailment in Ohio is affecting his health and environment, it has become clear the extent of the catastrophe could have been prevented if our country’s leadership had prioritized Americans first.
On Feb. 3, a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio and caught on fire, prompting Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to order an evacuation of the area. Officials allowed the train company to release the chemicals into the environment, causing a worse fire. Local residents have reported suffering various health problems, animals including an estimated 3,500 fish have perished, and the impact of water pollution on the Ohio River that supplies water to more than 5 million people is still unknown.
In the wake of a crisis vitally affecting so many Americans across the Midwest, their health and safety should be top of mind for anyone in leadership who stands to help. The response from the powers that be, however, was initially nonexistent. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg refused to acknowledge the event in any capacity for 10 full days.
The timeline of the Ohio disaster is alarming yet unsurprising. Buttigieg has spent his recent time prioritizing the left’s usual misplaced priorities such as “equity” and ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) policies over the tragedy in Ohio. The fallout following the disaster has served as a prime example of the difference in priorities for President Joe Biden versus those of former president and the 2024 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The Power of America First
The first act indicating any hope of relief came last Friday when Donald Trump Jr. broke the news that his father would be visiting the derailment site. The same day, Biden’s White House announced its plans to provide a multi-agency effort to help the formerly-unworthy residents of East Palestine — 14 days after the event. One day after alerting Gov. DeWine that the derailment’s effects didn’t qualify to receive federal aid, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reversed course and vowed to provide assistance.
George Papadopoulos said in a tweet the same day, “That’s the Trump effect. America first, always!”
On Tuesday, four days after news of Trump’s impending visit had broken, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) relieved themselves of responsibility by pointing all fingers at the train company, charging them with all cleanup.
Some relief may finally be coming to those afflicted. Wednesday, Trump met with community members and local officials, and he personally donated thousands of gallons of cleaning supplies as well as food and water.
America First versus America Last
In this time of environmental crisis, Greta Thunberg and the usual climate change activists are nowhere to be found. Where are the students who felt so passionately about the notion of disrupting the system in the name of preventing environmental catastrophe they threw mashed potatoes at one of the most cherished works of art in the world?
I don’t need to ask where Biden is. He made his visit to Ukraine very public in an effort to show his unwavering support. While not a single person from the White House had even acknowledged the disaster in Ohio for 10 days, Joe Biden spent this week personally visiting Ukraine to announce a half billion dollars in new spending.
While Joe Biden claimed in his State of the Union speech earlier this month to fight for the “forgotten” man, the Ohio train derailment had already gone unaddressed by his administration for four days by that point. What man is he referring to?
The past year has been challenging for most Americans suffering from out-of-control gas and grocery prices, unsafe streets, radical school curricula, and an ever-growing fentanyl crisis. Every day proves the Biden administration is placing the well-being of the American people last, and nowhere is that clearer than in East Palestine, Ohio.