After years of publicly feuding, comedian Rosie O’Donnell and former President Donald Trump are on the same page about the Biden administration’s handling of the East Palestine, Ohio hazmat train derailment.
O’Donnell, 60, released a lengthy TikTok post about how “nothing’s being done” by the federal government to help the community destroyed by Norfolk Southern’s toxic chemical spill.
“I’ve been reading all the news about this horrible train derailment and chemical spill – toxic poisoning – in Ohio,” she began.
“Fish dying, chickens dying and animals getting sick and people getting sick, and then the EPA comes out with a very non-alarmist, ‘Everything’s OK; don’t worry about a thing’ statement, and it’s infuriating.”
The “League of Their Own” star said that she has no confidence in the Environmental Protection Agency, after the way they handled the toxic fallout from 9/11 in New York.
“I don’t trust the EPA. I don’t trust them. After 9/11, I don’t know how anyone could,” she noted on Friday.
O’Donnell cited that in 2001, the EPA “told residents it was safe to go downtown, and it wasn’t.”
“There was no cleanup. There was dust everywhere,” she continued. “Toxic, horrible, cancer-causing. And they lied to the American people. I don’t believe the EPA.”
She believes the train derailment has “poisoned hundreds of thousands of people,” and that most residents don’t have the ability to pack up their families and leave due to financial strain.
O’Donnell also pointed out that their water supply, which feeds into the Ohio river, “goes to” several other states.
Despite the EPA’s assurances that the chemical spill has not caused concerns with air or water quality, water authorities from Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky have shut of their intakes from the Ohio river “out of an abundance of caution.”
“This is a tragedy of epic proportion, and it’s criminal negligence by that chemical and train company,” O’Donnell went on.
“And nothing’s being done about it. It’s not on the news enough. It’s not something that people are talking about. It’s like being pushed to the back burner.”
Trump visited East Palestine and brought along thousands of bottles in water, cleaning supplies, and canned food to crowds who chanted “No more Joe,” after they were spurned by the current president.
Neither Biden, nor any of his officials have visited East Palestine since the tragedy, yet the President visited a war zone in Ukraine in a show of solidarity against invading forces from Russia.
During a Wednesday speech at East Palestine’s fire department, Trump told residents they “are not forgotten,” that he stands with them, and he’d help them fight for the answers and “accountability” they deserve.
“Unfortunately, as you know, in too many cases your goodness and perseverance who are met with indifference and betrayal in some cases,” he stated.
The Biden administration refused to mobilize the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), denying Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s request for help, because “this situation is different” and more “expansive than what FEMA can provide.”
“They were intending to do absolutely nothing for you,” Trump criticized.
“They could have been here two weeks earlier, at least a week earlier, but they decided to do it this way, and I guess it came from the top.”
He took a jab at Biden for leaving the country during the height of an environmental disaster.
“I sincerely hope that when your representatives and all of the politicians get here including Biden, they get back from touring Ukraine, that he’s got some money left over,” Trump snarked.
“What this community needs now are not excuses and uh all of the other things you’ve been hearing but answers and results and that’s what I think you’re going to see.”
Trump claimed that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s planned Thursday visit is a result of him showing up first.
“Biden and FEMA said they would not send federal aid to [the town] under any circumstances,” he stated.
“We opened up the dam, and we got them to move,’ he said referring to his visit the Biden administration has claimed is a photo op.”
On Tuesday, Buttigieg admitted that he “could’ve spoken out sooner” about the catastrophe.
“Our department was on the ground within hours, helping with the response and the investigation,” he defended the DOT’s response.
“But we have been on the ground literally from day one to make sure that we’re doing our part to support,” Buttigieg continued.
“I do think it’s important to speak out about that, and I could have spoken sooner, and I’m making sure that we are focused on the actions that are gonna make a difference,” he concluded.
According to some East Palestine residents, the timing of his visit is “a little to late.”
“Like he can come, but for what?” One person asked.
Trump’s visit is going to be a tough act to follow, he assured residents that he’d “be back” if the federal government doesn’t give them the “treatment they need,” and treated first responders to Big Macs for lunch at a local McDonald’s.
“I know this menu better than you do,” he told the person at the counter. “I probably know it better than anyone here.”
O’Donnell posted a follow-up video to address critics for saying she finally “woke up” after the train derailment.
“I didn’t finally wake up. This is exactly how I felt at all national tragedies,” she detailed.
“This is what I feel: Compassion for my fellow man, disappointment in a government that doesn’t take good enough care of its people, and frustration at the way corporate entities seem to have impunity in this country now.”
“This is not a Democratic or Republican stance,” O’Donnell continued. “This is who I’ve always been and it is always what has mattered to all Americans. We have to stop with the right and the left. We have to come together, soon.”
Trump and the former talk show host have been in their own personal cold war since December 2006, when the then co-host of “The View” called him a “snake-oil salesman,” who was “not a self-made man.”
“[He] left the first wife – had an affair. [He] had kids both times, but he’s the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America,” she jeered. “Donald, sit and spin, my friend.”
At the time, Trump said she was “a woman out of control” and that he planned to file legal action against her.
“You can’t make false statements,” Trump told PEOPLE. “Rosie will rue the words she said.
“I’ll most likely sue her for making those false statements – and it’ll be fun,” he sniped.
“Rosie’s a loser. A real loser. I look forward to taking lots of money from my nice fat little Rosie.”
They fought on Twitter for the next decade, and the war was so bitter, that Trump jabbed at her during a 2016 presidential debate.
“Somebody who has been very vicious to me, Rosie O’Donnell, I said very tough things to her and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her,” he crowed.
In 2017, she told W magazine that she and the nation wouldn’t be able to live through” his presidency.
“It’s a terrifying concept, on the brink of nuclear war with a madman in charge,” O’Donnell remarked.
In 2020, said that Trump “won’t let” their rivalry die.
“I said some things about him — not nearly as bad as I could have said … but I just talked about him not being a self-made man, having money from his father, and saying he went bankrupt — and it made him go berserk,” she told The Daily Beast.
“He went on a tirade for a good decade that hasn’t ended today,” O’Donnell concluded. “I think he can’t let go of a strong woman standing up to him.”