CLEVELAND — In the three weeks since a train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, one of the most consistent questions being asked is whether the federal government is doing enough.
Speaking to 3News' Russ Mitchell on Friday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine shared his thoughts on the matter, stating that he does believe that the Buckeye State has received the appropriate assistance.
"What we're seeing is that there are many people on the ground from the federal government," DeWine said. "Probably the most important people are medical doctors, others who are really experts in toxins, experts in releases like we have seen and they continue to monitor the results and give us the best information that they have."
DeWine's comments come three weeks to the day that the 149-car train operated by Norfolk Southern derailed in East Palestine, resulting in a temporary evacuation and a controlled release of the chemicals on board. In the weeks since, some have argued that President Joe Biden's administration hasn't done enough to provide aid to the Columbiana County village -- a sentiment that DeWine doesn't share.
"I don't have complaints," DeWine, a Republican, told Mitchell. "I always have a complaint that bureaucracy doesn't move fast enough. Sometimes that's Ohio's as well as the U.S. But we're really pushing everybody, and frankly, people are working very hard. The stuff that needs to be removed from the site is moving out, they continue to load it up. We take it one day at a time. But we're getting the help that we need."
On Wednesday, former President Donald Trump, who has already declared his candidacy for the 2024 election, visited East Palestine, with Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visiting on Thursday. At a press briefing to discuss the initial findings of her agency's investigation into the derailment, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chair Jennifer Homendy issued a plea regarding the politicization of the incident and its aftermath.
"Enough with the politics on this," Homendy said in response to a question on Thursday. "Enough with the politics. I don't understand why this has gotten so political. This is a community that is suffering. This is not about politics. This is about addressing their needs, their concerns. That's what this should be about.
"What I care about is caring for them. What I care about is figuring out how this happened. And what I care about and what the NTSB cares about is getting to what would prevent this from reoccurring."
You can watch Russ Mitchell's full interview with Gov. DeWine in the video player below.