Biden’s Visit to East Palestine Isn’t Going Well: ‘Let’s Go Brandon!’ Chants Break Out Upon President’s Visit

President Joe Biden isn’t getting the ‘hometown hero’s welcome’ that he might be expecting upon finally traveling to East Palestine, Ohio, the site of site of an ecological disaster caused by a Norfolk Southern train derailment over one year ago.

Joe Biden is set to address the community in a closely stage-managed appearance on Friday.

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However, the crowd expecting the presidential address do not seem to be thrilled with the belated election-year visit.

“Let’s go, Brandon!” shouted several crowd-goers, a reference to a vulgar insult that was rephrased on live air.

On Friday, the president will visit the community of 5,000 at the mayor’s request, just as the Environmental Protection Agency is about to complete a massive cleaning paid for by Norfolk Southern, the rail company. Republicans have chastised Biden for not visiting sooner, and there are ongoing tensions in the town.

“The president has always said when the time is right and when it made sense for him to go, he would go,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “And so, that’s what he’s doing.”

Ahead of the trip, Jean-Pierre stated in answer to a query that Biden had “no concerns about drinking the water” in the town, where chemicals and hazardous waste have spread due to the fire. She pointed out that EPA Administrator Michael Regan drank the water during a previous visit.

Biden, a Democrat, is heading into Republican country as he campaigns for reelection. Aides say it’s an opportunity for Biden to hear from the community, discuss his efforts to hold Norfolk Southern accountable, and advocate for the adoption of a rail safety law. Over the past year, several government officials have paid visits.

“It’s been a year of challenge, but a year of solidarity,” Regan said in a statement. “I’m proud of East Palestine, a community that has embodied resilience, hope and progress.”

During Biden’s visit, a separate event will be held for former President Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner. Trump received over 72% of the votes in Ohio’s Columbiana County, which contains East Palestine.

Mike Young, the rally’s coordinator, called the grassroots event “anti-Biden.” He claimed to have supplied water to the neighborhood following the catastrophe, and that the president should have arrived on the scene at once.

Donald Trump in February 2023 announced his decision to travel to East Palestine, Ohio to visit the members of the ailing community.

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By Melinda Davies
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