It has been over three weeks since a train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio released clouds of toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.
Many inhabitants have since felt all but abandoned by government officials, with the Biden administration giving them a figurative middle finger.
They include local resident Lindsay Johnston, who told the New York Post that she and her husband have suffered sore throats and received no federal guidance on how to decontaminate their house, saying, "We don’t even know the correct way to clean our home to get rid of the chemicals on the furniture and in the rugs and floor because no one will tell us."
Johnson also voiced suspicion that the neglect is politically motivated, complaining, "They think we’re all dumb hicks who voted for Trump and they can pull anything over on us. They do know we can’t vote against them if we’re dead."
"It’s not surprising [President] Biden chose going to Ukraine over us. Why would he care about us? He knows we’re not going to vote for him," Johnson concluded.
Meanwhile, members of the Biden administration have attempted to shift blame for the disaster on to their predecessors.
In a tweet put out on February 14, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg implied that regulatory decisions made under former President Trump played a role in what happened.
We’re constrained by law on some areas of rail regulation (like the braking rule withdrawn by the Trump administration in 2018 because of a law passed by Congress in 2015), but we are using the powers we do have to keep people safe. https://t.co/xRyyYpGOwd
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) February 14, 2023
Yet National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chairwoman Jennifer Homendy called that claim "misinformation."
"Some are saying the ECP (electronically controlled pneumatic) brake rule, if implemented, would’ve prevented this derailment. FALSE – here’s why," Homendy said.
"The ECP braking rule would’ve applied ONLY to HIGH HAZARD FLAMMABLE TRAINS," the NTSB head explained.
"The train that derailed in East Palestine was a MIXED FREIGHT TRAIN containing only 3 placarded Class 3 flammable liquids cars," she added.
The ECP braking rule would’ve applied ONLY to HIGH HAZARD FLAMMABLE TRAINS. The train that derailed in East Palestine was a MIXED FREIGHT TRAIN containing only 3 placarded Class 3 flammable liquids cars. pic.twitter.com/ReAFDSdsn7
— Jennifer Homendy (@JenniferHomendy) February 17, 2023
What's more, a report published by the Washington Post earlier this month acknowledged that the Biden administration has failed to implement new breaking rules, with officials arguing that such a move would raise costs while providing little additional benefit.