On February 3, a train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, and released toxic fumes into the air. The accident has caused many people to become sickened and has impacted local residents who lived near the accident site. Unfortunately, Senator JD Vance, who was recently elected to serve Ohioans in the Senate, has not done all he can to help those affected by this tragedy. Rather than reach out to his constituents and provide assistance during this difficult time, Senator Vance chose instead to go on Fox News and voice his grievances about diversity hiring.
The derailment took place on a stretch of track that runs along the Mahoning River in rural Ohio. The train carried hazardous materials including sodium hydroxide, which is an agent used in oil refining and is highly corrosive when exposed to moisture. When the train derailed it sent fumes containing this chemical into the air around East Palestine and left local residents feeling helpless and scared for their health.
Senator Vance’s response was slow at best; it took him ten days before issuing a statement expressing his horror at what had happened. However, he failed to mention any plans or initiatives he would be undertaking as an elected official to help those affected by the derailment. Instead of focusing on how he could use his power as a senator to provide support for those living in East Palestine, Vance instead chose to appear on Tucker Carlson’s show and complain about diversity hiring practices while ignoring the tragedy unfolding near his home state of Ohio.
This lack of action from Senator Vance has drawn criticism from both sides of the aisle; many feel that he is not fulfilling his promise of being there for Ohioans during times of crisis. By choosing not to prioritize helping those affected by the accident over appearing on television shows and making political statements about diversity hiring practices, Senator Vance is sending a message that he does not care about those suffering in East Palestine — something many Ohioans find unacceptable from their newly elected senator.
It is imperative that Senator JD Vance take immediate steps towards providing relief for those impacted by this tragedy in East Palestine; it would be inexcusable for him to continue disregarding their plight just because it does not fit into his political agenda or public image goals. As a leader of Ohio’s citizens, it is incumbent upon him to demonstrate that he truly cares about their welfare by taking tangible steps toward improving their lives after such a major disaster occurred so close to home.