California Democratic Rep. John Garamendi said Monday that ex-President Donald Trump was responsible for the train derailment that caused a toxic chemical spillage. He also defended Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s handling of the crisis.
As authorities attempted to stop the release of toxic chemicals, a train carrying the chemicals was towed off the tracks near East Palestine, Ohio on February 3. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that officials warned of a “catastrophic explosion” February 6 and conducted a controlled burning of chemicals.
Garamendi stated to Fox News host Bill Hemmer that the problem lies with the Congress of the United States, and the Republicans back under the Trump administration who stopped safety rules being put in place for railroad systems across the country. “Now, it’s time to move forward. Buttigieg must get into gear and comply with safety regulations. It would be great if he could go there. But what would it solve?
Buttigieg is a former mayor in South Bend, Indiana. He has been criticized for how he handled the derailment. This included not talking about it publicly until posting a thread to Twitter on February 13. Buttigieg also expressed concern about the demographics and employment prospects of construction workers that day.
“Yesterday, Pete Buttigieg had an opportunity to address this issue. Instead, he spoke out about the excess of – this was not a joke — too many white men working in the construction industry,” Republican Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio spoke during a Fox News Tuesday appearance. “That is not an issue of serious concern right now. What’s going on in East Palestine? “The Secretary of Transportation must focus on real problems and not fake ones.”
Donald Trump, the former President of the United States, announced Friday that he will visit East Palestine on Wednesday.