Ohio Bill Giving Lawmakers Oversight of Emergency Declarations and Orders Sent to Gov. DeWine

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Wednesday afternoon Senate Bill 22 passed the Ohio House by a vote of 57 to 37.  Five Republicans did not cast a vote – Paul Zeltwanger (Mason), Tracy Richardson (Marysville), Mike Loychik (Bazetta), Jeff LaRe (Violet Twp.), and Ron Ferguson (Wintersville).

One Republican, Nino Vitale, voted against the bill despite being an outspoken opponent to the DeWine Administration’s pandemic health orders. Vitale was also one of a handful of lawmakers who supported articles of impeachment based on alleged executive overreach during the state’s handling of COVID.

The Senate concurred on the House changes so now SB22 will be sent to Governor DeWine where he has the choice to approve, veto or do nothing – in the event of the latter, the bill would become a law after 10 days.

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DeWine Calls Late Press Conference to Announce ‘New Deal’ for COVID Restrictions

Republican Governor Mike DeWine offered Ohioans a new “deal” late Thursday, saying, “When Ohio gets down to 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks, all health orders in the state will come off.”

The announcement came in a specially called press briefing that started at 5:30 p.m., during which DeWine encouraged Ohioans to take the of the COVID vaccine and to stay the course with nonpharmacological interventions: masks, distancing, state orders that limit crowds and limits on long personal contact.

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U.S. Senate Candidate Josh Mandel Demands Ohio Gov DeWine Drop COVID Restrictions

Wednesday, U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel (R) called on Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine 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.

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State Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Reimburse Fines and Expunge Records for Ohio Businesses

  COLUMBUS, Ohio – State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova) introduced a bill Wednesday that would both expunge the records of businesses cited for COVID violations and return fines and penalties paid. Upon its introduction, House Bill 127 was assigned to the House State and Local Government Committee on Thursday. HB127…

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Amy Acton Quits Columbus Foundation, Possible Move to Gear Up for U.S. Senate Run

Late last week, several media outlets reported Dr. Amy Acton resigned as Director of Human:Kind – a Columbus Foundation project – a move that feeds speculation she is preparing to run for US Senate in 2022. 

This is the third resignation by Acton in less than a year.

The first was when she left the post of Director at the Ohio Department of Health in June in the middle of the COVID pandemic and amidst rising opposition to the state’s COVID policies – mandates one judge called “arbitrary, unreasonable and oppressive.”

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Hillary Clinton Signals Support for a Rep. Tim Ryan Run for U.S. Senate in 2022

U.S. Rep Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) wasted no time expressing his interest in the U.S. Senate seat Republican Rob Portman announced he will not seek again in 2022. On January 25, the day of Portman’s announcement, Ryan said he was “looking seriously at it.”

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DeWine Says Restrictions for Years, Then Backpedals as Ohio Reports Limited and Late Antibody Study

During the twice-weekly COVID presser, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine invited Dr. Abigail Norris-Turner on Thursday to speak to Ohioans. Norris-Turner revealed the results of a random statewide antibody study former Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton mentioned in April and promised May 11.

Regarding the 1,200-person study, Acton said during a press conference on May 11 “[t]hey’re volunteering to help us learn more about the prevalence of this disease, many of whom may not know they have had it.”

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Gov. DeWine’s Pick for New State Health Director Withdraws Her Name from Consideration

The doctor named by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to be the state’s new health director has withdrawn her name from consideration.

The move came just hours after DeWine announced that he’d chosen Dr. Joan Duwve to take the position. The governor announced the decision on Twitter stating that Duwve cited “personal reasons” for the decision and that his office would continue searching for a full-time replacement.

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New CDC Admission Could Slash Ohio’s Death Toll

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Weekly Index disclosed “[F]or 6% of deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned.”

That means of the 183,000 U.S. deaths attributed to COVID as of the release of this article that 10,980 people died from COVID.  The remaining 172,000-plus deaths occurred with COVID.

In a text exchange with Dan Tierney, Press Secretary for Governor Mike DeWine, The Ohio Star asked Tierney if Ohio distinguishes “between someone who dies from the virus and someone who dies with the virus.”

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Amy Acton Steps Down as Ohio Governor’s Health Advisor, Will Return to Work for the Columbus Foundation

Dr. Amy Acton stepped down from her role as Governor Mike DeWine’s Chief Health Advisor, the Ohio Department of Health announced Wednesday. 

DeWine called Acton a “friend and advisor” on Twitter, saying that “she has assured [him] that she is just a phone call away and will be available to continuing advising [his administration] as [they] move through this pandemic.”

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Ohio Lawmakers Introduce Bill That Would Make February 26 ‘Dr. Amy Acton Day’

Two Ohio lawmakers want to honor former Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton by giving her own day.

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) introduced House Bill 724 on Monday that would be designated February 26 “Dr. Amy Acton Day.”

February 26 is the date of choice because Gov. Mike DeWine named Acton the ODH director on this date in 2019.

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Amy Acton Steps Down as Director of Ohio Department of Health

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, who during the COVID-19 pandemic has been both a magnet for praise and a lightning rod for criticism, is stepping down from her post. She will remain an advisor to Gov. Mike DeWine.

Republicans in the legislature and small business owners who felt the state took a heavy-handed approach with its pandemic response were particularly critical of Acton.

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Chairman of Ohio House 2020 Economic Recovery Task Force Calls on Amy Acton to Resign

State Rep. Paul Zeltwanger (R-Mason) told the Cincinnati Enquirer Thursday that he wants Ohio Health Director Amy Acton to resign from her position.

During Zeltwanger’s interview, he condemned Acton for not providing accurate information to the public and not reacting to data that went against the state’s lockdown measures.

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Gov. DeWine Puts His Foot Down Against Ohio House Republicans Trying to Limit the State’s Health Department Powers

Gov. Mike DeWine took a stand Thursday against Ohio House Republicans who are trying to limit the Ohio Department of Health (ODH)’s powers during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, House Republicans on the House State and Local Government Committee (HSLGC) passed an amendment to a 2019 regulatory reform bill that would limit ODH’s orders to two weeks, The Ohio Star reported.

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Gov. DeWine Stands Up for Amy Acton and News Media After Incidents Involving Protesters Last Weekend: ‘I’m Fair Game’

Gov. Mike DeWine defended the news media and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton during Monday’s press conference after several incidents occurred over the weekend when Ohio extended its lockdown order until May 29 last Friday.

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State Rep. John Becker Will Introduce a Bill That Would Alter All Ohio Mandatory Coronavirus Public Health Orders

Rep. John Becker (R-Union Township) plans to introduce a bill when the Ohio General Assembly opens up again next week that would make all public health orders issued by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Amy Acton advisory measures rather than mandatory measures, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. 

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‘Secret’ COVID-19 Model Touted by Acton and DeWine That Predicted 10,000 Daily Cases on Peak Sunday Was Off by 700 Percent

Ohio’s official coronavirus model was projecting 10,000 new cases for Sunday’s peak, but only 1,317 new cases were reported.

As recently as March 29, the Ohio Department of Health’s forecast was predicting that the coronavirus pandemic would reach its peak in the state on April 19 when 10,000 new cases would be reported, The Ohio Star said.

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Only 13 Percent of Ohioans Have Tested Positive for Coronavirus, Much Lower Than National Average and National Hotspots

Ohio has almost 10,000 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Saturday, according to the Ohio Health Department (ODH). This number may seem like a lot, but the percentage of people testing positive for the Chinese virus remains low in the state.

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DeWine Calls for Phased-In Reopening Starting May 1 With Restrictions on Workforces

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton on Friday discussed how the state will develop its plan to reopen the economy.

DeWine said, “Ohioans have done a great job, a phenomenal job, fighting back, staying home, ensuring physical distancing. We’ve been doing all the things that needed to be done. I’ve never been prouder to be an Ohioan and I’m very grateful for what you have done. You have flattened the curve.”

Beginning May 1, the state will begin a phased-in reopening of the state economy. The plan will be fact-driven over a long period of time to minimize the health risk to business owners, employees, and customers.

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Ohio Congressional Candidate Calls Michiganders Who Protested Against Gretchen Whitmer ‘Bad People’

While Michiganders protested on Thursday the authoritarian like measures Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has implemented during the coronavirus pandemic, a person trying to unseat Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH-04) had harsh things to say about them.

Shannon Freshour, a progressive who is competing against two other Democrats for the party’s nomination, tweeted her true feelings about the protesters.

“Republicans everywhere want people to die while claiming to be pro-life,” Freshour said. “Also um gridlock would be an effective tool if there was traffic but y’all only blocking yourselves and your fellow hate-mongering, confederate supporting traitors.”

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Ohio Health Director Amy Acton Is Preparing Volunteers to Help with Contact Tracing

Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Amy Acton announced during Monday’s press conference that the state is training volunteers to help with “contact tracing,” which is a process that helps identify people who may have contacted an infected person.

The ODH has been working with medical and professional schools to help train these volunteers in an attempt to better allocate state resources for the coronavirus.

“Let’s just say we have the testing. You want to know someone is infectious the second they are. So, the quicker you can identify them is the very first step,” Acton said.

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People Protest at Ohio’s Capitol the State’s Handling of the Coronavirus Pandemic, Call on Acton to Resign

People gathered in front of the Ohio state capitol to protest the way the state has handled the coronavirus pandemic.

Currently, Ohio is under a “Shelter-at-Home” order until May 1, which it has been under since March 23.

Around 100 people came to Ohio’s capital Columbus Thursday to protest, according to Tom Bosco, an ABC6 journalist. On their way to the building, Bosco said people were chanting “Open Ohio.”

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Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Forecast Was Off by 850 Cases Monday, Actual Cases Just One-Third of ‘Mitigated’ Projections

Ohio health officials and Gov. Mike DeWine continue to reference a coronavirus model that hasn’t been updated since March 28.

The Ohio Star still hasn’t been provided with any information on the identities of the Ohio State University researchers behind the controversial model.

The Ohio Department of Health (OHD) claims on its website for the forecast model that it was “created based on current data” and becomes “more precise as more information is available.”

However, the model still predicts that the coronavirus pandemic will reach its peak in Ohio on April 25 when the state is projected to have 9,689 new cases. But that number is based on the information that was available as of March 28 and hasn’t been updated since.

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Model Cited by White House Officials Projects Ohio Hospitals Have Enough Capacity to Handle State’s Upcoming Coronavirus Peak

  A new epidemiological model cited by White House officials shows that Ohio hospitals have sufficient regular hospital bed and ICU hospital bed capacity for when the peak of the coronavirus hits the state in the upcoming weeks. According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model, Ohio…

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Gov. DeWine’s Claim Ohio Will Reach Peak of 10,000 Coronavirus Cases Per Day Based on Modeling Sleight of Hand, Questionable Evidence, and Unidentified Researchers

  Gov. Mike DeWine claimed in a Friday press conference that projections based on a controversial model introduced earlier this month by Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton show hospitals in Ohio will be hit hard by the coronavirus in the upcoming weeks. While the daily increase of confirmed…

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Ohio Health Director Amy Acton Dismisses Trump Admin County-Level Risk Assessment

In the coronavirus press briefing Thursday, Ohio Health Director Amy Acton dismissed the Trump Administration’s plan for a county-level approach to identify hotspots throughout the country, and instead asserted that as many as 8,000 new cases per day would be diagnosed as early as May 1.

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Ohio Relents: Department of Health Releases Negative Test Data, Only 4.7 Percent Test Positive

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) for the first time in ten days announced the total number of tests the state has conducted.

“Total tested, this is a new number for us,” she said at Wednesday’s press conference. “We have been wrangling trying to see with so many testing sites between hospitals, private labs and the public ODH lab.”

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Ohio Department of Health Defies CDC, Refuses to Require Labs to Report Both Positive and Negative Results from Coronavirus Tests

  Ohio is one of only two states in the union that are refusing to cooperate with requests from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to provide accurate data on the total number of positive and negative tests of coronavirus tests conducted in the state. (Maryland is the other state,…

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22 Percent of New York State Residents Tested for Coronavirus are Positive, Ohio Refuses to Release Negative Test Data So No One Knows Rate in State

How many people have tested negative for the coronavirus in Ohio? That’s on a need to know basis, and Gov. Mike DeWine has decided you don’t need to know.

Meanwhile, in New York State, 22 percent of people who took the test were positive, according to The COVID Tracking Project, so residents there at least know what they’re facing.

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Is the Ohio Department of Health Refusing to Release Coronavirus Test Data to Conceal Lower Than National Average Percentage of Positive Tests?

  During the coronavirus pandemic, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Amy Acton have taken a number of actions, some controversial, designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Just in the last ten days, DeWine has closed bars and schools, postponed primaries and banned mass gatherings.…

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Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine Recuses Himself from Voting on His Father Gov. Mike DeWine’s Effort to Quash State Primary

When Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine went court shopping to quash the state’s primary Tuesday as a way to fight the coronavirus, one of three Supreme Court justices who abstained from voting in his favor was his eldest son, Justice Pat DeWine.

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Ohio Hides Number of Coronavirus Tests It Is Conducting

Ohio leaders are so busy sending restaurant workers to the unemployment line over fears of the coronavirus they apparently do not have time to actually test for the presence of the virus among their citizens, nor do they want you to know how many they have tested.

As Monday afternoon, Ohio had 50 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to The COVID Tracking Project. Out of 551 tests that have been taken, 140 were negative and 361 results are pending.

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Ohio Prioritizes Coronavirus Testing for Hospitalized Patients

Ohio has a new protocol to check for the coronavirus now that in-state testing is available for high-priority cases for hospitalized patients.

“As the COVID-19 situation evolves, the Ohio Department of Health, working in conjunction with hospitals, primary care providers, and other health care experts, has a plan to maximize our testing resources,” Gov. Mike DeWine said Saturday in a press release. “We are prioritizing the patients who are the most vulnerable to be tested in the Department of Health’s State Laboratory, while ensuring those that need COVID-19 testing will be able to be tested.”

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