COLUMBUS — With more than 1,000 new cases reported today in Ohio, the coronavirus crisis is surging in the Buckeye State and across the country, but Republican leaders in Washington and at the Ohio Statehouse have dismissed science and public health experts and politicized the pandemic response.
The Ohio Democratic Party hosted a virtual roundtable discussion today to discuss the recent surge in coronavirus infections in Ohio with state Rep. Allison Russo, a health care policy expert; Dr. Rachael Morocco, a pediatrician running for Ohio House District 67 in Delaware County; Dr. Ean Bett, a family medicine physician and member of the Physicians Action Network; and Dr. Anita Somani, an ob-gyn and past president of the Columbus Medical Association.
Every speaker emphasized the importance of wearing masks in public to prevent further spread — but Donald Trump has politicized the issue, asserting that wearing a mask is a political statement against him.
From Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper:
“As Dr. Fauci warns we could soon see 100,000 new coronavirus cases every single day and the CDC says the coronavirus outbreak is spreading too rapidly in the U.S. to bring it under control, the Trump administration has basically given up on trying to fight the pandemic.”
“I think what we’ve seen, particularly in the last month as more things have reopened, and the focus on business voices over public health voices has been very concerning. We need to remember that first and foremost, this is a public health crisis, and you cannot solve the economic crisis without dealing with and preventing the public health crisis in this virus.”
“From the beginning we’ve seen, almost like a disconnect, between what medical experts are saying and what our leaders are showing us. And I think we need to form a cohesive message that we wear a mask, social distance, and this needs to come from the top all the way down. Just show that we are unified and that we are all going to take the same steps in order to decrease the spread of this virus.”
“I take care of a lot of indigent patients who barely get by economically and make choices on a daily basis when to go get their medications filled, if they can get their medications filled. Threats to any health structure that allows millions of Americans to access health care is just not the direction we should be going.”
“One of the things that was walked back on that I would go revisit is mandatory masks and you may have already talked about that. But it makes such a difference — the data is showing that you can reduce your risk, not to yourself but to others around you in terms of the aerosol spread, the way that virus spreads through the particles that are transmitted when you talk, when you sneeze, when you cough. So even though there’s these questions of freedom of choice and this, that and the other. It’s the same as wearing a seatbelt. It’s the same as going into a store with your shirt and shoes on. It’s no different.”