Biden Seems to Care More About Turkey Than Ohio

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Last week the Biden administration refused federal aid to East Palestine, Ohio, where a chemical spill and the controlled burn of chemicals caused worrying damage to the air and water supply and has reportedly killed or hurt thousands of animals (particularly fish). Yet the Biden administration was quick to pledge $185 million in aid for the victims of the Turkish earthquake. No one denies the devastation and death toll of the Turkish and Syrian earthquakes, but shouldn’t the American government prioritize Americans before anyone else?

NPR reported on Feb. 19 that Secretary of State Antony Blinken toured one of the “worst-affected” Turkish provinces, Hatay, by helicopter and pledged $100 million more in U.S. aid. NPR said $50 million of this is for humanitarian relief, but the other $50 million is for “emergency refugee and migration funds.” This is on top of the $85 million Joe Biden already pledged after the Turkish and Syrian earthquakes killed more than 44,000 people. America sent medical supplies and equipment and a search-and-rescue team as well, NPR added. “When you see the extent of the damage, the number of buildings, the number of apartments, the number of homes that have been destroyed, it’s going to take a massive effort to rebuild,” Blinken said. “The most important thing right now is to get assistance to people who need it.” America’s Incirlik Air Force Base is distributing aid.

The destruction and death in Turkey are unimaginably awful, and, of course, the U.S. should help if we can (though we are massively in debt already). But what about Americans here at home? Just as the Biden administration left behind Americans and U.S. allies while flying out goodness-knows-whom during the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle, the Biden administration has been noticeably absent and unhelpful since the disaster in East Palestine, Ohio.

Townhall reported on Feb. 16 that the Biden administration refused federal aid to East Palestine, claiming the situation did not meet the requisite requirements of a “traditional” disaster like a tornado. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine had yet to designate the area a disaster zone, although he did request federal aid, a request that was turned down. A DeWine spokesman told Fox News that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said the toxic spill did not qualify for disaster assistance.

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Interestingly, after Donald Trump announced a trip to East Palestine, FEMA finally sent a Senior Response Official and a Regional Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT). This was announced just one day after aid was refused, as PJ Media’s Matt Margolis wrote; it was also about two weeks after the chemical spill first occurred. It was hardly the sort of generous aid the Biden administration was pledging at the same time to Turkey, however. And Biden’s Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is still studiously avoiding visiting Ohio, it seems.

Again, without any wish to depreciate the much bigger and more deadly disaster in Turkey and Syria, shouldn’t the Biden administration be sending federal funds to Americans before it sends those funds abroad? Why aren’t Ohioans important to the Biden administration?

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