Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) ended up giving an odd indirect answer when he attempted to dodge a question posed to him about if he would drink the tap water in East Palestine, Ohio.
While making a statement during an appearance on CNN’S “State of the Union” for this past Sundays episode, Brown stated that he deferred to local officials when questioned about whether or not he would partake of the water which has been contaminated by the chemicals from the Norfolk Southern train derailment on February 3. Brown then went on to try and blame the derailment on the actual rail company, making the claim that it recently laid off a number of key workers and carried out stock buybacks instead of putting more money into safety.
“[W]ould you drink the water in East Palestine?” questioned guest host Pamela Brown. “And do you think the officials there who are saying it’s safe, they should drink the water too to show the residents that they would drink it?”
“Well, I think they are,” fired back the Senator. “I mean, I talked to the mayor. The mayor said definitively, emphatically, that people can drink the water. I don’t know. I don’t think the mayor has small kids. He looks a little older to me. I didn’t ask him about bathing his kids. But he has said he would drink this water.”
Brown then went on to claim that this derailment incident was caused directly by corporate greed coming from Norfolk Southern. “Pamela, this is really the same old story. Corporations do stock buybacks, they do big dividend checks, they lay off workers. Thousands of workers have been laid off from Norfolk Southern. Then they don’t invest in safety rules and safety regulations, and this kind of thing happens. That’s why people in East Palestine are so upset.”
“These things are happening because the railroads are simply not investing the way they showed in car safety and in the rail lines themselves,” he stated.
J.D. Vance (R-OH), on the other hand, has not chosen to defer to area officials when it comes to the topic of water safety. In the wake of the EPA stating this past Wednesday that the water within the municipal wells expressed no signs which would cause concern over the quality, Vance called them out to actually drink the water they were claiming was not an issue.
“I think that if the EPA administrator wants to stand here and tell people that the tap water is safe, by all means, they should be willing to drink it,” he explained.