COLUMBUS, Ohio – U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel (R) called on Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine Wednesday to remove all COVID mandates and re-open businesses 100 percent.
“Mike DeWine and Amy Acton have done a horrible job handling the COVID response and completely trampled on the freedoms, liberties, and livelihoods of everyday Ohioans. Today I call for Ohio to fully re-open and allow Ohioans to get back to work, get their kids back to school, and remove our statewide mask mandate,” Mandel said.
I’m calling on Gov DeWine to immediately:
– Remove statewide mask mandate
– Remove all restrictions on businesses including capacity limits
– Require that all schools open for in-person instruction
– Re-open Ohio so our businesses & communities can thrive#Freedom #Liberty 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/UGgJpKf7o2
— Josh Mandel (@JoshMandelOhio) March 3, 2021
The released statement demands DeWine immediately:
- remove the statewide mask mandate
- remove remaining restrictions on businesses including capacity limits
- require that all schools open for in-person instruction as soon as possible
- re-open Ohio now so our businesses and communities can begin to recover
“Ohioans have suffered almost a year due to misinformation from Amy Acton, Anthony Fauci, and Mike DeWine, who thought they were better equipped to make decisions than Moms and Dads, small business owners and faith leaders,” said the Cleveland area candidate.
Mandel’s message comes exactly one year after DeWine restricted the Arnold Sports Festival – the world’s largest multi-sports festival hosted in Columbus, Ohio.
Six days later the Governor issued a state of emergency that he sold to Ohioans as a temporary measure to help hospitals with the equipment and time they would need to ramp up for the tsunami of cases Amy Acton predicted – a high point of 62,000 a day without mitigation strategies.
On March 12, 2020 DeWine ordered schools closed. Then DeWine, Husted, Acton and LaRose went on to cancel the March 17 primary election. Acton then issued a stay-at-home order on March 22, at which time the administrative state chose which businesses were essential and which weren’t, closing the latter.
That move not only created a rush of unemployment claims that resulted in Ohioans told they couldn’t work going months without help, it wrecked the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) system – the agency has yet to recover. A year later reports show that more than $330 million in unemployment aid (and likely much more) was lost by the department to fake claims. ODJFS Director Kim Henderson announced her resignation on Monday.
Businesses continue to operate under capacity restrictions and mandates, which the Ohio Restaurant Association reports could force 60% of Ohio restaurants to go out of business – with an untold impact on industry employees, suppliers and their families.
Kids still have not returned to full-time classroom learning – a fact that is stunning when the impact, as reported by a top medical journal, is considered.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that educational disruption of just 54 days (Ohio is nearing 365 days of disruption) caused by school closures resulted in a loss of an estimated 13.8 million years of life expectancy in students aged 5-11 years – across the 24.2 million in that age range in the United States.
The statewide mask mandate went into effect in mid-July, after which Ohioans experienced the biggest run-up in COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths according to the Ohio COVID dashboard – despite mask compliance being logged at high levels during flu season, 90% or more.
U.S. Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH-04) echoed Mandel’s sentiment on Twitter: “Texas is open. Mississippi is open. When will Ohio do the same?”
Texas is open.
Mississippi is open.
When will Ohio do the same?
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) March 3, 2021
The Ohio Star contacted Governor DeWine’s office about Mandel’s statement and asked for a response to the point the Senate hopeful made about government orders directing behavior instead of Moms, Dads, small business owners and faith leaders.
Press Secretary Dan Tierney did not respond to that inquiry, instead he said that the focus of the administration is vaccinations and reaching a critical mass of inoculations where “it will be the vaccine stopping the virus spreading instead of mitigation efforts such as masks and social distancing stopping the virus from spreading.”
However, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “we also don’t yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself.” Consequently, the CDC still recommends nonpharmacological interventions, namely masking and distancing.
“Ohio’s economy is recovering and unemployment is going down, and this is [due] in part to keeping the spread of the virus low. Wearing masks and social distancing is helping keep the virus low and protecting not only Ohioans, but Ohio’s economy,” said Tierney.
– – –
Jack Windsor is Statehouse Reporter at The Ohio Star. Windsor is also an independent investigative reporter. Follow Jack on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Josh Mandel” by Josh Mandel.