The mayor of East Palestine, Ohio, said President Joe Biden "doesn't care about" his town's residents, calling the president's visit to Ukraine instead of his devastated city "the biggest slap in the face."
"I found that out this morning in one of the briefings that he was in Ukraine giving billions of dollars away to people over there and not to us," Mayor Trent Conaway told Fox News. "I'm furious."
Biden made a surprise visit on Monday to Kyiv, where he pledged an additional $500 million in aid during meetings with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. The president, however, has not visited East Palestine, which is still recovering from a Feb. 3 train derailment that led to the release of noxious toxic chemicals in the town's air. Nearly half of the town’s 4,800 residents were told to evacuate in the hours after the crash and resulting inferno.
This is not the first time Biden has faced accusations of avoiding domestic problems: The president made his first trip to the southern border in January after overseeing two years of record-high illegal immigration.
Officials gave an all-clear to return five days after the train crash, but residents are concerned about the safety of the town's air and water supply after livestock were found dead in the days after the toxic release.
"We basically nuked a town with chemicals so we could get a railroad open," Sil Caggiano, a hazardous materials specialist, told a local news outlet last week about the controlled chemical release.
Former president Donald Trump plans to visit East Palestine Wednesday, posting on Truth Social that the residents are "great people who need help, NOW!"
Norfolk Southern, the company that owns the derailed train, is pledging a million dollars for the community in its recovery.