President Biden poured salt in the wound for residents in East Palestine, Ohio, saying he has no plans to visit the suffering town after returning from a trip to Europe where he pledged his undying support for Ukraine.
The people in East Palestine haven't felt safe in the days since a train derailed on February 3, spilling toxic chemicals in the area.
Biden told reporters Friday that his presence in the town is not needed, touting the federal response so far as sufficient.
The aloof president said he "did a whole video" on Zoom and that he trusts his team to handle the situation.
Although it took almost three weeks for Pete Buttigieg to show up, Biden dismissed the notion that his administration has ignored the town.
"You know, we were there two hours after the train went out. Two hours," Biden said. "So the idea that we're not engaged is simply not there."
NEW: Pres. Biden tells reporters he has no plans to visit East Palestine, but defends admin response, saying they were on the ground within 2 hours. pic.twitter.com/xnwTD4xOc8
— Nathaniel Reed (@ReedReports) February 24, 2023
While state and federal agencies have said the air and water in the town is safe, residents have complained of health issues like headaches, strange rashes, and respiratory problems.
Biden's flippant response is sure to stir further outrage after the mayor of the town called Biden's trip to Ukraine this week "the biggest slap in the face."
Democrats have been almost completely absorbed with deflecting blame, which they have sought to shoulder onto a familiar target -- Donald Trump.
The former president, who is a 2024 candidate, filled the leadership vacuum with a visit to the suffering town Wednesday -- a day before Buttigieg found the time to show up.
Trump demonstrated his famous common touch in a stop at a local McDonald's and donated bottled water to the "forgotten people" of the poor rural town.
"You are not forgotten. We stand with you. We pray for you. And we will stand with you and your fight to help ensure the accountability that you deserve," he said.
Biden, in an apparent effort at damage control, ordered federal officials to perform door-to-door checks on Friday, February 24 -- a full three weeks after the public health crisis began.