(LibertySociety.com) – After facing major backlash from the public and Republicans, Secretary of Transportation for the Biden administration, Pete Buttigieg, finally made the decision to visit East Palestine, Ohio, on February 23, 2023, twenty days after the train derailed. Secretary Buttigieg has admitted fault in not speaking out sooner after the derailment, but defended the Department of Transportation. According to Fox News, he told Nexstar’s Washington correspondent that they were “on the ground within hours helping with the response and investigation.”
During his visit to the site of the derailment, Buttigieg was briefed by NTSB, the DOT, and met with residents as well as emergency responders. According to The New York Post, he also spoke to reporters while visiting the town, explaining his actions by saying he was seeking a “balance” between wanting to be involved and “follow[ing] the norm of transportation secretaries,” which includes letting the NTSB take over most “public-facing” work early on. The Transportation Secretary also took aim at Former President Donald Trump, who previously criticized him for not visiting East Palestine. He claimed that the former president should support the reversal of the “deregulation that happened on his watch.”
Secretary Buttigieg has sent a letter to the CEO of the rail company, Norfolk Southern, calling for them to be vocal about needed changes in the rail industry, also adding that he will “hold Norfolk Southern accountable.”
Fox News Live covered the visit of Secretary Buttigieg to East Palestine, which lasted about 38 minutes. It is unclear just how long he stayed after thanking the people who briefed him on the matter.
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