[Photo Credit: By Office of Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg - https://twitter.com/SecretaryPete/status/1595168587970449414, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=125836930]
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has reportedly now called for Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s “immediate resignation” in the aftermath of the Feb. 3 train disaster in East Palestine, Ohio, which left neighbors fearful for their lives and property due to the discharge of a massive amount of dangerous chemicals in the area.
“For two years, the transparency and accountability that you promised to obsessively uphold during your inauguration has been nowhere to be found. The incompetence and failure within your administration cannot continue to be ignored when Americans’ health and safety are at risk.” Rubio said.
Buttgieg has, according to Rubio, “downplayed crisis after crisis while prioritizing topics of little relevance to our nation’s transportation system … he continues to deflect any accountability for the safety of our nation’s rail system. This is part of a two-year-long pattern.”
Buttigieg has recognized the Norfolk Southern disaster but has faced criticism for his lack of response to the catastrophe, particularly when he spoke out on Monday about the lack of diversity hiring in the construction business rather than the accident.
Buttigieg has not visited the derailment site, where a controlled burn was ordered two days later, unleashing vinyl chloride and other toxins into the air and surrounding waters.
Rubio and Republican Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio also wrote to Buttigieg on Wednesday, requesting information on how his agency regulates the national freight system.
Buttigieg also came under fire right before Christmas when a computer problem at the Federal Aviation Administration shut down domestic air traffic, and he has also been chastised for flying on private jets too frequently.