White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dodged when questioned Tuesday about President Biden’s claim he hasn’t visited East Palestine, Ohio, the site of a major train disaster earlier this year, because he hasn’t “been able to break.”
The exchange occurred during the daily White House press briefing when Fox News’ Peter Doocy noted the derailment occurred on Feb. 3, but that Biden, despite his claim, had taken other personal trips — including one to Lake Tahoe last month when he rented the secluded mansion of a billionaire climate activist.
“I will say this again. The president is going to go to East Palestine, as he has said that he is committed to do,” Jean-Pierre said.
“You saw him, just this Saturday, visit a rural area. Right? That was devastated — some parts were devastated by Hurricane Idalia, and he was there with the first lady. They were able to hear directly from the American people, and he was able to talk about what is it that they need… what else do they need from the federal government. So the president is going to go to East Palestine. I don’t have a time or date to announce at this time, but he will go,” she added.
East Palestine was devastated by a derailed freight train that spewed toxic chemicals and caused health and environmental worries for locals. Although officials reassured the public that the town’s air and water were safe, residents claimed to suffer from nausea, dizziness and headaches in the days after the disaster.
Biden was sharply criticized for not visiting East Palestine immediately following the derailment, and he has yet to travel to the area since, though he promised on March 2 to visit “at some point.”
Biden’s claims he hasn’t “been able to break” since the Feb. 3 derailment came just one week after he returned from an eight-day family vacation in Nevada and several trips to Delaware just in the month of August alone.
Days before the Nevada vacation, Biden was forced to break from a vacation in Delaware to tour Maui amid criticism for his lackluster response to the deadly fires there.
Earlier in August, Biden spent 10 days vacationing at his homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach.
The president was photographed waving to locals while riding his bicycle in Rehoboth Beach on July 31, Aug. 1, Aug. 2 and Aug. 13.
He was also spotted relaxing on the beach in Rehoboth Beach on July 8, July 30, Aug. 2 and Aug. 13.
According to a new report by the New York Post, Biden has spent roughly 40% of his presidency on personal overnight trips away from the White House, more than any other president before him.