Headline RoundupFebruary 16th, 2024

Biden Visits East Palestine One Year After Train Derailment

Summary from the AllSides News Team

President Biden visited East Palestine, Ohio, on Friday, over a year after a catastrophic train derailment spilled toxic chemicals in the area.

For Context: In February 2023, a train carrying hazardous chemicals including vinyl chloride derailed and crashed in East Palestine, Ohio, forcing roughly 2,000 residents to evacuate. The incident caused significant controversy due to health and environmental concerns.

Details: Biden’s delayed visit resulted in a mixed reception for the president. Both Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg criticized Congress for its inaction regarding the Railway Safety Act, a legislation proposed to increase safety measures for trains carrying harmful substances. Biden announced six new National Institutes of Health grants to fund studies into the potential impacts of the crash.

Key Quotes: During his visit, Biden blamed “corporate negligence” for the derailment, stating, “While there are acts of God, this was an act of greed that was 100 percent preventable. We were pushing railroads to take more precautions, to deal with braking, to do a whole range of things that were not dealt with. Norfolk Southern failed its responsibility.” Biden added, “in moments like this, let’s remember who we are—we’re the United States of America, for God’s sake. We have obligations to one another. There’s nothing beyond our capacity when we do it together, and we’re going to stay here and do it together for as long as it takes.”

How The Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum highlighted the residents’ frustration at the delayed visit by Biden. This summary was developed with the help of AllSides' AI technology.

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