EXCLUSIVE: Former President Trump will travel to East Palestine, Ohio next week to visit the area and members of the community as they grapple with the aftermath of the train derailment that led to a large release of toxic chemicals, Fox News has learned.
A source familiar with the former president’s plans told Fox News that Trump plans to travel to East Palestine on Wednesday to meet with members of the community.
The source said Trump, who announced his 2024 presidential campaign in November, has a strong relationship with the people of Ohio.
Trump’s planned visit comes after a train derailment on Feb. 3, when about 50 cars on a Norfolk Southern Railroad train carrying vinyl chloride derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, a small community that is located along the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.
The company opted to release the gas from the derailed cars, releasing potentially deadly fumes and other dangerous chemicals into the air, to prevent a disastrous explosion. Local residents were told to evacuate the area during the release, but were assured it was safe to return on Feb. 9.
Residents of the East Palestine community have reported severe symptoms from toxins and chemicals that have seeped into the air and waterways since the derailment on Feb. 7.
After more than two weeks, the Biden administration on Friday announced it would deploy medical personnel and toxicologists to East Palestine from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine requested HHS and CDC assistance on Feb. 16, after being denied aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA told DeWine Ohio isn’t eligible for disaster assistance, even amid the derailment.
A White House official told Fox News Digital on Friday that FEMA, the agency that usually provides relief to communities hit by hurricanes and other natural disasters, isn’t best equipped to support the state’s current needs.