Fox News hosts weigh in on ‘toxic nightmare’ in Ohio as local GOP Rep. declines to criticize federal response

The ongoing environmental disaster in East Palestine, Ohio after a train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed earlier this month has become a major problem for the Biden administration and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg while a local GOP congressman declined to criticize the federal response.

On Wednesday’s edition of “The Five,” the crew discussed the latest developments prior to a local town hall where residents of the area would get a chance to grill officials over the railway accident and subsequent decision by authorities to blow up the train cars, sending plumes of toxic fumes into the air, a move that has been strongly criticized after fish and animals in the proximity have been dying and concerns mounted about the safety of the water.

(Video: Fox News)

During the discussion, co-host Dana Perino talked about her earlier reporting on the fallout from the incident, citing the words of Republican Rep. Bill Johnson whose district is the site of the “toxic nightmare” and who said that Washington’s response to the still unfolding catastrophe has been satisfactory after fellow co-host Jesse Watters took a shot at Mayor Pete whom he accused of dropping the ball.

Perino had interviewed Congressman Johnson during a segment on “America’s Newsroom” earlier in the day and was asked by Watters about the honesty of Biden’s top Environmental Protection Agency official who insisted that there is nothing wrong with East Palestine’s water supply after she put him on the spot over whether he himself would feel comfortable returning home if he lived in the vicinity and whether he would bathe his children in the water.

“There’s a big town hall tonight in East Palestine where residents are going to be able to grill officials for answers. And the congressman there is promising to save a seat for the transportation secretary. Dana, so nice job with the EPA guy. What was your read on his level of honesty?” Watters asked.

Perino replied, “I didn’t think he was being dishonest, but I think that what we found in the morning is, that was in the 10:00 a.m. hour, in the 9:00 a.m. hour, we interviewed the congressman from that area, Republican Bill Johnson.”

“And I asked him, ‘Are you satisfied with how the Biden administration is doing?’ And he said, ‘Yes. From what I’m hearing on the ground, the federal government is doing what it needs to do. We’re getting the resources that we need,’” she continued.

“I don’t know if the problem is at the state level, but with the–but I did feel that the EPA administrator understood but doesn’t know how to deal with is the lack of trust from the community about the data.”

“He’s saying that the tests are saying that is fine, but the people actually don’t believe that,” noting the public distrust of government. “And the people who are there, as you saw from our reporting, their report, they’re saying that they are getting headaches, they’re uncomfortable, or they have children that they’re afraid to put in the bathtub. I understood that. But when I heard that, because you can get bottled water and drink bottled water, I can understand that, that’s an expense. But you can do that.”

“But when the woman said she was afraid to bathe her children, that really struck home to me because I don’t know how that fear leaves. And then later on in the day, Martha MacCallum had an interview with this young woman who said she doesn’t necessarily trust the data. And what she’s really worried about is she’s worked hard. She saved up her money, she bought a home, and now she’s afraid that that investment is going to be worthless. And that’s really sad.”

Later, Watters slammed Democrats on his own program “Jesse Watters Primetime,” further breaking down the situation on the ground at “Little Chernobyl,” a reference to the infamous 1986 nuclear disaster in the Soviet Union as he aired clips of East Palestine residents who detailed their personal accounts as well as expressing skepticism in the EPA.

The host reserved some of his harshest words for Biden and his Democrats whom he suggested were treating illegal aliens better than American citizens who have had their lives thrown into upheaval by the environmental cataclysm near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.

(Video: Fox News)

“Biden would rather help out someone who breaks into the country illegally than the people of East Palestine,” he said. “Remember, Democrats moved heaven and earth for a Venezuelan migrant? They will buy them a culturally appropriate piece of food, put them up in a posh hotel here in Times Square, give them phones, X-Boxes, plane tickets, even lawyers. Democrat mayors will even sleep overnight in a sleeping bag in Brooklyn just to make some illegal feel more comfortable. See, it’s not so bad, even I’m doing it,” referring to a recent public relations stunt by New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

“But when our own citizens get toxic chemicals spilled all over their town, they light the chemicals on fire and make them sign lawsuit waivers and then no show at the town hall that way in 10 years when they get cancer they can’t sue them? We have spent billions helping illegals but we’re going to stiff red-blooded Americans in Ohio and then claim we care about the forgotten men and women of this country? Pretend to care about the working man? Pretend to care about the environment? It doesn’t matter what Democrats say. Just watch what they do and right now they aren’t doing a thing,” Watters said.

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