Former GOP congressman Jim Renacci, who is challenging Governor Mike DeWine in 2022, on Thursday slammed a new vaccine initiative announced by DeWine, dubbed “Ohio Vax-to-School.”
The new program will award dozens of scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 in a lottery-style giveaway to individuals aged 12-25 who receive the coronavirus vaccine.
The scholarships will be paid for by existing coronavirus relief funds.
“Today’s announcement is just another example of Mike DeWine taking his marching orders from Joe Biden and Dr. Fauci. A Jim Renacci administration would leave these vaccination decisions between parents and their children and get the government out the way, period,” Renacci said in a statement.
The new program announced by DeWine follows the foundation of the state’s “Vax-a-Million,” which also gave away scholarships and money to individuals who received the coronavirus vaccine.
However, the incentive provided mixed results. After gaining an initial boast in the number of individuals who took a vaccine, the number of new Ohioans receiving the first dose of a vaccine fell by nearly half after the state announced its first $1 million and college scholarship winners
Furthermore, critics argue that the program wasted taxpayer funds.
“Mike DeWine already failed with his disastrous vaccine lottery earlier this year that did not make a tangible impact at all, while wasting taxpayer dollars. This would be more of the same. Between DeWine forcing our children to wear masks and continuing to stay silent while Joe Biden imposes vaccine mandates against Ohio businesses, the radical, liberal agenda of Mike DeWine is killing Ohio,” Renacci continued.
However, DeWine argued that the best way to defeat the coronavirus pandemic is through vaccinations.
“The best way for those who are 12 and above, the best way to stay in school is to become vaccinated. The best way to run cross country on Saturday morning, if that’s what you love to do, is to become vaccinated. The best way to play football on Friday night is to become vaccinated. The best way to be in theater or debate or whatever you love is to become vaccinated,” DeWine said.
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