EXCLUSIVE: Former President Trump will travel to East Palestine, Ohio Wednesday and is set to donate thousands of gallons of cleaning supplies and more than a dozen pallets of water to the community as it grapples with the aftermath of the train derailment that led to a large release of toxic chemicals, Fox News Digital has learned.
A source familiar with the former president’s plans told Fox News Digital that Trump will travel to East Palestine on Wednesday to meet with members of the community and community officials.
Joining the former president throughout his visit will be East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway; Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio; Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio; State Rep. Monica Robb-Blasdel; and Ohio State Sen. Michael Rulli in addition to other statewide and local officials.
TRUMP TO VISIT EAST PALESTINE AFTER TOXIC TRAIN DERAILMENT
Trump is expected to donate thousands of gallons of cleaning supplies, along with 13 pallets of water to East Palestine. A single pallet typically holds a couple of thousand bottles of water. The former president is teaming up with nonprofit organizations Blue Line Moving and KORTX.
“President Trump is meeting with the citizens of East Palestine and will never forget them and what they are going through,” a Trump advisor told Fox News Digital. “Contrast that with Biden and the federal government who has failed them from the beginning.”
Trump’s planned visit comes after a train derailment on Feb. 3, when about 50 cars on a Norfolk Southern Railroad train carrying vinyl chloride derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, a small community that is located along the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.
EAST PALESTINE: HHS, CDC SENDING MEDICAL PERSONNEL AFTER TRAIN DERAILMENT, OFFICIALS SAY
The company opted to release the gas from the derailed cars, releasing potentially deadly fumes and other dangerous chemicals into the air, to prevent a disastrous explosion. Local residents were told to evacuate the area during the release, but were assured it was safe to return on Feb. 9.
Residents of the East Palestine community have reported severe symptoms from toxins and chemicals that have seeped into the air and waterways since the derailment on Feb. 7.
After more than two weeks, the Biden administration on Friday announced it would deploy medical personnel and toxicologists to East Palestine from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine requested HHS and CDC assistance on Feb. 16, after being denied aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA told DeWine Ohio isn’t eligible for disaster assistance, even amid the derailment.
A White House official told Fox News Digital on Friday that FEMA, the agency that usually provides relief to communities hit by hurricanes and other natural disasters, isn’t best equipped to support the state’s current needs.
OHIO TRAIN DERAILMENT: FEMA TO DEPLOY TEAM TO EAST PALESTINE 2 WEEKS AFTER DISASTER
Fox News Digital first reported Trump’s planned visit Friday evening.
Hours later, FEMA reversed its decision, and announced Friday night it would deploy federal assistance to East Palestine.
The Biden administration had taken heavy criticism from residents for not approving a FEMA disaster declaration. The derailment does not meet the legal requirements for such a declaration, officials say.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan has visited East Palestine. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has said he plans to visit East Palestine, but has yet to do so.
But President Biden has yet to visit the East Palestine community. Instead, Biden on Monday made a surprise visit to Ukraine during a trip overseas—nearly a year after Russia’s unprecedented invasion of Ukraine.
EAST PALESTINE, OHIO MAYOR ‘FURIOUS’ WITH BIDEN’S UKRAINE VISIT: ‘THAT WAS THE BIGGEST SLAP IN THE FACE’
Biden’s visit left East Palestine residents and officials “furious.”
“That was the biggest slap in the face,” Mayor Conaway said on “Jesse Watters Primetime” Monday. “That tells you right now he doesn’t care about us. He can send every agency he wants to, but I found out this morning that he was in Ukraine giving millions of dollars away to people over there and not to us…on President’s Day in our country.”
He added: “So, I’m furious.”
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Conaway and local residents have pleaded for more federal assistance, saying that resources on the ground have been insufficient.
Water from the city of East Palestine has been tested and is considered safe, but residents using well water have been encouraged to use bottled water. Hundreds of air samples from homes in the area indicated no present toxins. Residents, however, remain uneasy as noxious odors and reports of mysterious rashes leave them concerned about the area’s safety.
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