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US Journalist Slams Biden for Ignoring Ohio Chemical Spill Amid New Ukraine Aid Package

© AP Photo / Gene J. PuskarОчистка частей грузового поезда Norfolk Southern, который сошел с рельсов в пятницу вечером в Восточной Палестине, штат Огайо
Очистка частей грузового поезда Norfolk Southern, который сошел с рельсов в пятницу вечером в Восточной Палестине, штат Огайо - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.02.2023
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) Lenka White - US President Joe Biden should pay more attention to the chemical disaster in East Palestine and send some money there to help citizens cope with the consequences instead of giving it all to Ukraine, Nick Sortor, an independent journalist working on the ground in Ohio, told Sputnik.
Sortor's on the ground coverage of the trail derailment in Ohio gained attention after his video of contaminated water in East Palestine garnered 15 million views.
"You think about the amount of money he sent to Ukraine. Right? We are talking about over 100 billion dollars. He has the ability to do that… to fix this issue and make sure the kids are safe and breathing clean air," Sortor said.
The journalist said that he does not think all the money should be diverted from Ukraine, but he added that even if Biden would give 1% to the people of East Palestine, it could help local citizens.
Sortor also expressed hope that former President Donald Trump's tomorrow visit to East Palestine will force the current administration to focus on the people of Ohio and the issues they are currently facing.
US President Joe Biden (R) walks next to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) as he arrives for a visit in Kiev on February 20, 2023 - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.02.2023
Biden Slammed Online For Flying to Kiev, Not Ohio Chemical Disaster Zone
"What he can solve is he's putting political pressure on the current government, which I think is very important, you know, because that is what the current government needs. That's what the White House needs. They need political pressure to come in," Sortor told Sputnik.
Last week, Trump announced on TruthSocial that he will be in East Palestine on Wednesday and that the people 'need help NOW.'
Meanwhile, President Biden's trip to Poland and the unannounced visit to Ukraine have been widely criticized by some Republicans who have accused POTUS of neglecting his own country in a time of need.

Neglecting Issues at Home

Sortor, who visited East Palestine to report on the derailment, described the 'warzone' he had seen and how the media was 'inaccurately' describing the situation.
"It was like a warzone. It's something that I have never seen before. The media did not accurately describe this place. When I got there, I did not expect to get out of my car and be intoxicated by a smell that was going to make my eyes water and make me choke...My face is still swollen," Sortor said.
On February 3, a train hauling 20 cars from Norfolk Southern with hazardous materials derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. A big fire erupted due to the derailment, leading to officials burning vinyl chloride inside five of the tanker cars to avoid a catastrophic explosion. The accident released toxic chemicals, including hydrogen chloride, phosgene, butyl acrylate and ethylene into the environment.
ONG 52nd Civil Support Team members prepare to enter an incident area - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.02.2023
Weeks Later, Still No Answers: Toxic Train Derailment in Ohio
The CEO of Norfolk Southern has been heavily criticized by the residents and political leaders for the lack of engagement following the disaster. The company's president visited East Palestine, Ohio but Norfolk Southern representatives did not show up at a public meeting last week where residents gathered, citing fear of physical threats.
Despite repeated assurances that the air and water are safe, residents in the area have told Sputnik of recent health impacts, including headaches, burning skin, and irritated eyes, as well as anxiety about long-term health risks such as cancer. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources told Sputnik that approximately 3,500 fish had died in waterways near the train derailment site.
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