Opinion by Linda Genzel
After almost two weeks, the Biden Administration, FEMA, the HHS, and the CDC finally decided to somewhat respond to pleas for help from local officials and the residents of East Palestine, Ohio, after a Norfolk Southern train derailment on February 3rd resulted in a massive chemical spill of toxic, carcinogenic substances, like for example, butyl acrylate and also Vinyl Chloride, among other hazardous organic compounds, which as a consequence, were then subsequently released into the environment, polluting the air, seeping into the ground, soil, creeks, rivers, storm drains, and wells, contaminating drinking water supplies, and killing off over 3,500 fish, along with livestock, pets, and also birds, after a controlled burn produced an almost atomic-like mushroom chemical plume that then dispersed hydrochloric acid and the toxic gas phosgene into the sky and environment, because, after all, what goes up must come down. National Media coverage of the disaster has been sparse, to say the very least, but thanks to unrelenting reporting from local and conservative news outlets and the ensuing public uproar from the right, the HHS & the CDC, out of what was likely sheer embarrassment, finally conceded and agreed to send a handful of toxicologists to the town of East Palestine, now referred to as “Ohio Chernobyl,” where they will begin to set up a free medical clinic for residents, by appointment only, sometime in and around Tuesday, February 21st, after roughly 18 days of next to near radio silence from the Biden Administration, who continue to shrug off pleas from anguished residents for federal financial FEMA Assistance.
On Thursday, February 16th, precisely 13 days after the chemical spill, Biden’s head of the EPA, Michael Regan, finally decided to grace the Residents of East Palestine with his tardy and reluctant presence. Regan told furious and frustrated locals that the tap water was allegedly safe to drink and asked that people just trust the government when they say that the water is clean, as he strolled alongside a river teeming with thousands of dead fish, where a Kaleidoscope of rainbow-colored toxic chemicals still visibly ripple and swirl around in the water and line the river bed, where the stench of chemicals still saturates the air causing breathing difficulties for residents, and where even an investigative reporter, Evan Lambert, was arrested during one of Governor Mike DeWine’s press briefing for simply doing his job by investigating, asking questions, and reporting on the train derailment and consequential chemical spill, and yet in the face of all of this contradictory visible and tangible evidence, the Biden administration and his EPA Head, Michael Regan, clearly living in an alternate reality, still want people to trust the government. Why on earth would anyone in this town, or America for that matter, believe their claims that the water is safe when it was the very same EPA that told New Yorkers the air around ground zero was safe after 9/11?
Thankfully, though, most residents are not buying Regan or the government’s spin and are continuing to use bottled water out of an abundance of caution because clearly, they can still smell, taste, see, and feel the lingering effects from the chemical spill, and how terrifying that must be for them; the sheer trepidation over what they have been exposed to and what the long-term ramifications of that exposure might mean for their future and their families future five or ten years down the road, and whether or not, they’re going to get sick and develop cancer or some other sort of debilitating, degenerative disease as a result of this catastrophic chemical spill.
On Friday, February 17th, we learned that our former President, Donald J.Trump, would visit East Palestine on Wednesday, February 22nd, because that’s what you do when you’re a leader; you lead, and you show up for the people you swore an oath to defend and protect above all others; you visit the scene of disasters, you comfort and reassure the people, you gather information, and you assess what needs to be done to make things better for your people.
Unfortunately, up until now, the present President, Joe Biden, and his administration have barely acknowledged this horrendous chemical crisis, that is however, up until quite literally one hour after President Trump announced that he would visit the site of the disaster and the residents of East Palestine, then, all of a sudden, Biden decides or rather is forced to grow a conscience and finally do something, even if it was only to deploy a few people from FEMA to evaluate the conditions on the ground, and not that he, as the current President of the United States would visit, but that he would send some people, a “Senior Response Official” and a “Regional Incident Management Assistance Team,” but still no financial support or assistance.
Biden should not have ignored, shelved, and waited so long to respond to pleas for help from desperate residents; he should have immediately convened and deployed an envoy and team of EPA and FEMA experts to East Palestine directly following the derailment chemical spill to assess the damage and to determine what is required and then provide all essential resources and funding to fix it. So it’s no great shock or surprise that locals feel Angry, frustrated, and slighted, as though they are being intentionally disregarded, shirked, forgotten, and yes, even deliberately abandoned, frozen out by Biden and his administration, because the truth is, they are, or at least they were up until Trump forced Biden’s hand, compelling him to do something, and it's not only that, the residents are also being lied to; they are not getting the whole truth, but what they are getting in lieu of transparency and the unfettered truth, is an administration that is asking them to just trust the government; which, in and of itself is spectacularly comedic, particularly after all that has been uncovered and disclosed to the public, verifying that for at least two decades now, politicians and other bureaucratic employees of our federal government have been engaged in less than ethical and oftentimes nefarious self-serving activity, lying to us, covering up evidence of crimes, even fabricating crimes against political opponents, and stealing from all of us on a grand scale, whether it pertains to the efficacy of the covid vaccine, the 9/11 ground zero toxic environmental hazards that have since claimed thousands more lives, or whether it pertains to their lies to the FISA Court so that they could spy on Americans, namely, President Trump, or whether it pertains to the joint collaborative scheme between the upper echelons of our intelligence agencies and big tech to censor, silence, and shut down conservatives and also deliberately conceal Hunter Biden’s laptop and crimes, to ensure that Joe Biden was put in the White House, and so much more malign conduct that most Americans now believe to be the politicization and weaponization of the federal government against Americans who threaten and oppose the left-wing agenda.
It’s always so definitive when our government lies to us, though, you know, when they state things like, “sure, the water in East Palestine is 1000% safe to drink; I would bathe my children in it and feed it to my newborn,” while at the same time thousands of dead fish float in and line the banks of the river, the same river that is their only source of water, and when everyone knows it’s not safe because they can still taste it in their mouths, smell it in the air, see it with their eyes, and feel it on their skin and in their lungs. The government would be more credible if they, at the very least, attempted to make a sincere effort to level with people in a down to earth transparent and forthright way, as opposed to insulting and treating people like a bunch of idiots by making definitive statements that everyone knows to be false. Tell people the truth; be honest even if it’s not great or horrible news, like, for example, “yes, we know everyone can still smell, taste, feel, and see the fallout from this dangerous toxic chemical spill, but we have indications that the water is OK, possibly safe to drink, but to air on the side of caution, people should continue drinking bottled water until they have more conclusive information,” but unfortunately, it seems, it will be a cold day in hell before our government is ever sincere, forthcoming, and transparent with us.
And, while it’s not just the apparent absence of transparency that has people infuriated and grappling for answers; it’s also this in-your-face apathy toward the suffering of Americans that stands out, in that, while the Biden Administration and also the MIA Secretary For Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, have, for two whole weeks now, brushed off, trivialized, and rejected requests for federal financial FEMA assistance, flouting the desperate pleas for help from terrified residents, but by contrast, for almost a year now, the Biden administration has been deploying envoys of people, support teams, and shipping an endless stream of supplies and equipment, not to mention billions of dollars in federal assistance to Ukraine, yet, the people of East Palestine, Ohio, Americans, for whom Biden swore an oath to defend and protect above all others, who have been living with this monumental catastrophe, breathing in toxic chemical fumes, drinking and bathing in contaminated water, coughing up blood, and breaking out in rashes, get absolutely nothing, zip, zero, zilch from the federal government; no federal environmental envoys or teams of experts to assess and evaluate the damage, nor equipment to remove the toxic chemicals, and for 18 days, up until February 21st, no toxicological or medical cadre of doctors to treat impacted residents, who are petrified for their lives and the health of their children, and who don’t have the wherewithal to leave their homes, to get out of the danger zone, and pay for hotel accommodations until every last drop of carcinogenic chemical compounds are removed from their small community, because Joe Biden continues to rebuke and Reject Requests and pleas for any sort of significant and impactful help, support and FEMA funding; all they are getting is scrapings, crumbs, and gaslit. They are being told that what they are smelling in the air, breathing into their lungs, seeing in the water, tasting in their mouths and feeling on their skin, is A-OK. The uncertainty that these people are feeling must be altogether overwhelming and terrifying; I can’t even begin to imagine their fears and anxieties, and yet, Joe Biden, who is supposed to be “The President Of The United States Of America,” is in Ukraine on of all days, Presidents Day, supporting Ukrainians, worrying about their welfare, and their pensions, and other needs, but not those of Americans; giving away an additional $500 million to-ukraine-on top of the already $113 billion the American taxpayers have already handed over to the Ukrainian people, but not a single penny in aid to East Palestine, Ohio, while residents grapple with a toxic carcinogenic chemical spill, a crisis of epic proportions that is still ongoing in their small, tight-knit community in northeast America.
What sort of man is Joe Biden?
What sort of a President does that to his own people; neglects and abandons them, treating them with such callous indifference during their suffering?
Whatever Biden’s priorities are, it is clear, they don’t lie with America and the American people!
Maybe he should stay in Ukraine!