The derailment of the Norfolk Southern train 32N in East Palestine, Ohio, has left the town in need of federal assistance. In response, Governor Mike DeWine requested help from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC, but was denied by FEMA.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) jokingly suggested DeWine don a mask of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to obtain assistance.
Early on Thursday morning, DeWine had a conversation with White House officials to address the need for help after thirty-eight of the 151-car Norfolk Southern train 32N cars derailed on February 3, leaking hazardous chemicals including vinyl chloride and ethylhexyl acrylate, both of which are considered carcinogens.
DeWine’s office issued a statement that day, expressing their disappointment with FEMA's refusal of assistance. “The DeWine Administration has been in daily contact with FEMA to discuss the need for federal support, however FEMA continues to tell Governor DeWine that Ohio is not eligible for assistance at this time,” they said.
The situation took a humorous turn when Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) responded approvingly to a meme suggesting that DeWine don a mask of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to obtain federal assistance. The meme read, “Ohio’s governor after Biden denied his request for disaster assistance” and was accompanied by a photo of DeWine wearing a Zelensky mask.
“I mean, it’s worth a shot,” Paul quipped.
Governor DeWine, however, is determined to continue his efforts to get the necessary help for East Palestine. “Governor DeWine will continue working with FEMA to determine what assistance can be provided,” his office said.