Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said on Sunday that President Biden should visit the Ohio town reeling from the derailment of a train hauling toxic chemicals, rather than traveling to Virginia this week to speak about healthcare.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that Biden plans to use his speech at an event in Virginia Beach on Tuesday to draw a contrast between his healthcare priorities and those of his GOP colleagues.
During an appearance on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” host Maria Bartiromo asked Youngkin about Biden’s upcoming visit to his home state.
“Well, Joe Biden’s been to Ukraine, now he’s coming to Virginia. He has yet to go to Ohio,” Youngkin told Bartiromo.
“And he wants to talk about healthcare, why doesn’t he go someplace where people actually have real health concerns that are driving them to worry about not just the day-to-day impacts of this horrific train crash, but the long term impacts with cancer threats, etc.” he added.
“This is a moment for leaders to lead,” Youngkin said. “And Joe Biden needs to lead here and I just think it’s really, really unbelievable that he has yet to go to Ohio and support these people that need the help.”
During a White House press briefing on Thursday, Jean-Pierre said that Biden had no plans to visit the site of the train derailment, noting he had already put forth a “multi-agency” initiative in response to the accident.
Youngkin, who is seen as a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2024, is among many prominent GOP figures who have criticized Biden for not visiting East Palestine.
Former President Trump, who is now running for president for the third time, accused the Biden administration of “indifference and betrayal” toward East Palestine residents during a visit there earlier this week.
“Unfortunately, as you know, in too many cases your goodness and perseverance were met with indifference and betrayal in some cases,” Trump said. “And Biden and FEMA said they would not send aid to East Palestine under any circumstance.”
During his own visit to the Ohio town, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Thursday called on Trump to support the Biden administration in reversing Trump-era deregulations that some have blamed for contributing to the derailment.
The train carrying toxic chemicals derailed near the Pennsylvania state line earlier this month, causing a massive fire and prompting authorities to evacuate about half of the 4,800 residents in the surrounding area, which included the village of East Palestine, Ohio.
Source : The Hill