Government officials went door-to-door over the weekend to check on families in East Palestine, Ohio, in the wake of a train derailment that spilled toxic chemicals in the area, reaching roughly 350 households, according to a White House official.
President Biden directed staffers on the ground in East Palestine from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make the rounds in East Palestine and knock on doors.
Those officials reached about 350 households over the weekend, the White House official said, and they are on track to reach 400 families by Monday. The officials used the door checks to check in on families, provide flyers with additional resources and conduct health surveys, the White House official said.
The door checks come as the White House has sought to show it has been proactive in its response to the Norfolk Southern train derailment earlier this month in Ohio.
Republicans have gone after Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in particular for not being more outspoken about the derailment, and they have questioned why Biden himself has not made the trip to East Palestine.
The White House has said President Biden has no plans to visit Ohio currently, but administration officials have noted that EPA representatives were in East Palestine within hours of the Feb. 3 derailment, and that the agency is taking the lead on the federal response.
Buttigieg visited East Palestine last Thursday to meet with local leaders and community members.
The White House has gone on offense against Republicans in recent days, arguing that GOP lawmakers and the Trump administration fought to relax regulations on railways and on environmental standards.
Source: The Hill
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