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Jean-Pierre Rejects Question About Biden Drinking East Palestine Water

Chris Agee
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As the residents of East Palestine, Ohio, mark one year since a train derailment dumped toxic chemicals into the water onto the ground of their community, President Joe Biden has still not fulfilled his promise to visit the town.

In September, he blamed a busy schedule on his supposed inability to book a flight to East Palestine despite having spent roughly 40% of his presidency on vacation.

“Well, I haven’t had the occasion to go to East Palestine,” he said at the time. “There’s a lot going on here and I just haven’t been able to break. I was thinking whether I’d go to East Palestine this week, but I was reminded I’ve got to go literally around the world. I’m going from Washington to India to Vietnam.”


This week, reports surfaced that Biden might actually follow through with a visit later this month, but White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre did not inspire much confidence when she fielded questions about the trip during a news briefing on Wednesday.


RealClear News correspondent Phillip Wegmann asked her if the president would drink the local water, which the administration has long claimed is safe for residents. 

“I mean, look, what I can tell you is the president’s focus has been to do everything he can to support this community from day one,” Jean-Pierre alleged. “We get what’s going on on the ground; we understand what’s going on.”

She went on to dismiss Wegmann’s question as unworthy of a response.


“I’m not going to get into some sort of political stunts about drinking water,” she shot back. “We’re going to focus on making sure they have what they need. The president was invited by the mayor and community leaders. He’s going to show up. He always said he’d be there when it was most helpful.”

Of course, East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway seemed to have a different opinion regarding the value of the visit.

In a recent statement to Fox News, the mayor said he believes “the best time for [Biden] to come would be February of 2025 when he is on his book tour.”

While Conaway said that the “president is always welcome in our town,” he added: “That being said, I don’t know what he would do here now.”