OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s self-described press person was not too thrilled to see reporters with their cameras when he visited East Palestine, Ohio.
The press person repeatedly asked the reporters to ditch their cameras and then she would speak to them. At one point police were called over by the Buttigieg team and police informed them that they could walk away from the reporters if they wanted to.
HERNANDEZ: “Mayor Pete, why did it take you an entire two and a half weeks to actually get here to respond to East Palestine? Will you apologize to the residents of this city for — for the slow response, the government’s slow response? Do you have any apology?”
UNKNOWN FEMALE: “I am his press person, I can help you.”
HERNANDEZ: “Sure. Sure. Sure. Sure.”
UNKNOWN FEMALE: “I am his press person. I don’t want to –” [crosstalk]
HERNANDEZ: “So, can — can — can we ask why it took him almost three weeks to get here?”
UNKNOWN FEMALE: “Sorry, I don’t want to do this on camera.”
REPORTER 1: “What was his personal time off while it was a tragedy happening here?”
UNKNOWN FEMALE: “I’m happy to talk to you guys off camera.”
HERNANDEZ: “And can we also ask you why, you know, he waited until President Donald Trump came here to actually make an appearance? This is a very important question that people across America would like to know.”
UNKNOWN FEMALE: “I’m happy to have a conversation with you. I do not want to be on camera.”
As the reporter noted, Buttigieg’s trip comes the day after former President Donald Trump visited the site of the train disaster.
Trump arrived to provide aid in the aftermath of a train derailment and personally helped with the delivery of numerous truckloads of bottled water to the area. According to John Rourke, CEO of Blue Line Moving, the company transported a total of 13 pallets of water pallets to East Palestine to assist the small town.
Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung told Breitbart News, “President Trump is meeting with the citizens of East Palestine, and he will never forget them and what they are going through. Contrast that with Biden and the federal government, who have failed them from the beginning.”
“Cleanup crews ended up igniting five train cars to get rid of toxic chemicals in a controlled environment, which created a menacing plume of thick smoke that resembled a mushroom cloud. Images of the controlled detonation were later circulated on social media, sparking concerns around the nation. The incident resulted in about half of the town’s population being ordered to evacuate. While residents have since been told they are allowed to return to their homes, many are still concerned and want answers — but Biden and Buttigieg are nowhere to be found,” Breitbart added.
Several local residents also showed up before Trump’s official arrival and made it clear they are fed up with Biden.
Tens of thousands of pounds of goods, food, water being delivered to the people of East Palestine, Ohio right now before Trump’s visit.
Trump paid for all of it.
Number of goods delivered from the Biden Administration: 0. pic.twitter.com/QQADqZl9Uy
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) February 22, 2023
Locals have started chanting “No More Joe” as they await Trump’s arrival to East Palestine pic.twitter.com/RkhiHcfmzb
— Savanah Hernandez (@sav_says_) February 22, 2023
Last week, Trump declared that he would visit the site of the train disaster in East Palestine, Ohio where toxic chemicals were spilled in the land and water after a train derailment, Fox News reported.
“A source familiar with the former president’s plans told Fox News that Trump plans to travel to East Palestine on Wednesday to meet with members of the community,” the report said of his rumored trip next week.
“The source said Trump, who announced his 2024 presidential campaign in November, has a strong relationship with the people of Ohio,” it said.
Fox News reported:
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.
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.