Buttigieg Hammered For Silence on East Palestine Disastrous Explosion, ‘We Are Ruled By Unserious People’

Three massive train derailments have rocked the U.S. recently, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is hiding as usual. Around 50 train cars derailed in East Palestine, OH, on Feb 3, releasing toxic chemicals into the air. Eleven days later, two more trains derailed back-to-back, one reportedly carrying hazardous material. Lawmakers took note of Buttigieg’s silence.

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“I have heard alarming anecdotes about contaminated waterways and effects on wildlife. I encourage anyone with credible reports of environmental harms to contact my office,” Ohio Senator J.D. Vance said on Monday. “This is a complex environmental disaster with impacts that may be difficult to assess in the short term. Long-term study will be imperative.”

Fire from the East Palestine derailment has reportedly released clouds of toxic chemicals into the air, including hydrogen chloride and phosgene – a chemical weapon used in World War One. While Norfolk Southern Railroad has stated that the area is safe, residents are complaining of symptoms, including dizziness and headaches. Local wildlife has begun to drop dead around the crash site.

“East Palestine railroad derailment will have a significant negative impact on the health and wellbeing of the residents for decades,” Rep. Ilhan Omar, D., tweeted Monday afternoon. “We need Congressional inquiry and direct action from Pete Buttigieg to address this tragedy.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg


For nearly two weeks, Secretary Pete avoided mentioning the ecological disaster unfolding in East Palestine. On Monday, he attended a conference in Washington, DC, but did not discuss any of the recent rail disasters. Instead, he joked about Chinese spy balloons and lamented a lack of diversity in construction sites,

“We have heard way too many stories from generations past of infrastructure where you got a neighborhood, often a neighborhood of color, that finally sees the project come to them, but everyone in the hard hats on that project, doing the good paying jobs, don’t look like they came from anywhere near the neighborhood.”

Buttigieg’s silence drew bipartisan condemnation from lawmakers.

“If you listen to Secretary Buttigieg today, they’re focused more on whether we have too many white men in construction jobs than…ensuring we have a viable transportation infrastructure,” Sen. Vance said in an interview. “We are ruled by unserious people who are worried about fake problems.”

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Buttigieg finally caved Monday evening, tweeting out at nearly 9:00 pm, “I continue to be concerned about the impacts of the Feb 3. derailment,”

“‘ Continue to be,’ since when?” commentator Mike Cernovich replied, noting Buttigieg’s long absence on the issue.

“‘ Continue to be concerned’ implies you’ve commented on it previously. Where was this?”


As Transportation Secretary, Buttigieg has presided over numerous transport disruptions over the past year. In December, Buttigieg came under fire from both sides of the aisle in December when Southwest Airlines flight cancelations skyrocketed as high as 57 percent. He faced similar criticism the previous summer when thousands of flights were canceled leading up to the July 4th weekend.

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The EPA said on Sunday that it is not currently concerned about the air quality in East Palestine. The Ohio EPA has assured residents that the town water supply is also safe, despite the Ohio Department of Natural Resources reporting that around 3,500 fish have died due to contamination.

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