WaPo fact-checker says Trump-era policies “cannot be blamed” for Ohio train disaster

 WaPo fact-checker says Trump-era policies “cannot be blamed” for Ohio train disaster

(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

The Washington Post is refuting liberals’ widely circulated claim that Trump-era policies undermining safety procedures were to blame for the fatal train crash in Ohio earlier this month.

Glenn Kessler, a Post fact-checker, undertook a deep dive on “every possible regulatory change” made during Trump’s presidency that may have led to the poisonous spills that have afflicted the remote town of East Palestine in a story published Monday.

“From our analysis, none of the regulatory changes made during the Trump administration at this point can be cited as contributing to the accident,” Kessler wrote.

Kessler determined that the Trump administration’s decision to reverse the Obama administration’s policy of requiring specific brakes on long trains played only a “minimal” role because those brakes would have only been required for “high hazard flammable trains,” whereas the one in question was a “mixed freight train.”

Another Obama-era guideline that Trump overturned would have required a two-person crew, but Kessler said this had no bearing on the Norfolk Southern incident because the train had three people on board. He also ruled out the possibility that weak safety requirements and safety checks, as well as ethylene oxide deregulation, were factors. “So far, Trump’s rollback of regulations can’t be blamed for Ohio train wreck,” Kessler declared in the report’s headline.

Many officials of the Biden administration, notably Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, have sought to blame former President Trump, claiming that his government’s actions led to the toxic train derailment according to FoxNews.

“It was definitely an ironic thing to do. You take down regulations, you water down regulations, you weaken the power of the administration to deal with freight railroad companies, and then you show up wanting to be a great friend of the people who has been impacted by a rail disaster,” Buttigieg said about Trump’s visit to East Palestine.

The media likewise pushed the narrative, with some going even further than Trump. Joy Behar, co-host of “The View,” appeared to blame the difficulty on East Palestinian voters, who overwhelmingly supported Trump in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. “That’s who you voted for in that district. Donald Trump, who reduces all safety,” Behar told East Palestine residents.

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