During an interview with CBS News on Tuesday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that he should have “spoken sooner about how strongly” he felt about the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment, and the delay in speaking out publicly occurred because he was focusing on ensuring the Department of Transportation personnel that were on the ground in East Palestine “were all set.”
Host Caitlin Huey-Burns asked, “I just have to ask, because it did take you a couple of days to respond publicly — or several days to respond publicly to this particular incident. Do you wish you would have spoken out sooner?”
Buttigieg responded, “Yes. I was focused on just making sure that our folks on the ground were all set. But could have spoken sooner about how strongly I felt about this incident, and that’s a lesson learned for me.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Buttigieg also defended not visiting East Palestine yet by saying he’s been staying out of the way of the NTSB’s investigation and that the administration has been acting in East Palestine from the very beginning. He also stated that when he does visit the town, he’ll be focused on taking action.