ICYMI: Ahead of Pence Visit, Democrats and Doctors Slam Trump’s Failed COVID-19 Response

COLUMBUS — Ahead of Mike Pence’s arrival in Columbus yesterday, Democrats and health care workers mourned the loss of more than 5,000 Ohioans to COVID-19 and called out Donald Trump’s failed, incompetent response to the pandemic. See for yourself:

Columbus Dispatch: “Protesters from the Ohio Democratic Party invited Dr. Daniel Skinner, an associate professor in health policy at Ohio University, to speak to passersby about false information, among other issues.”

  • “Skinner said the stakes are extremely high, especially given the ideology of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who is on record opposing some aspects of the Affordable Care Act and has objected to the Roe v. Wade ruling making abortion legal.”

  • “‘We are at a moment of absolute crisis, and as the vice president made clear at the debate, they don’t have a plan to undo the damage that’s been done,’ Skinner said. He said the need to have a voice was only amplified by the vice presidential debate, where Pence did not voice a plan to address any of the pressing needs in Ohio. ‘We have to be here to counteract any false information, but also to just make sure we are present, especially as people are voting right now,’ Skinner said.”

  • Columbus Dispatch: “In a statement Friday, Ohio Democratic Chairman David Pepper said, ‘As we prepare to pass the horrific milestone of 5,000 Ohioans dead from COVID-19, Mike Pence is parachuting into Columbus for a photo op. We don’t need more super-spreader pep rallies from this failed administration; we need widespread testing and access to personal protective equipment. We need an administration that believes in science and fights for our right to quality, affordable health care.’”

Cleveland.com: “Ahead of Pence’s appearance, the Ohio Democratic Party held a briefing criticizing Pence and the Trump administration for what it called their failures on health care and the coronavirus crisis. Pence’s visit coincided with Ohio reaching the grim milestone of 5,000 deaths.”

  • “‘We cannot lose sight of the fact that each one of these 5,000 lives was important,’ party Chairman David Pepper said in a statement. ‘Each one of these 5,000 Ohioans meant the world to someone. They were loved as grandmothers and grandfathers, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers. Their lives are not forgotten. At the same time, today is also a horrific reminder that it didn’t have to be this bad — Donald Trump’s failed leadership has resulted in the U.S. having more coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country in the world.’”

Toledo Blade: “U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty (D., Columbus) pointed to the fact that 5,000 Ohioans have died of coronavirus and noted the two rallies Mr. Trump had in the Toledo and Dayton areas two weeks ago, mostly without social distancing and face masks. ‘It’s clear that Trump and Pence don’t care about our health and safety,’ she said.”

  • “‘We don’t need more campaign rallies. We don’t need more photo ops. We need a plan. Donald Trump and Mike Pence don’t have a plan.’ She called Mr. Pence’s Columbus event a ‘pep rally’ designed to distract from the record of the administration and the coronavirus task force that Mr. Pence chairs.”

  • WDTN: “The Biden campaign is still opting for virtual events and socially distanced rallies. His surrogates are framing the election as a national health issue. [Rep. Joyce Beatty]: ‘I’m very fearful that we will see what we’ve seen at other rallies: a lot of photo ops, very few masks if any, and certainly no social distancing.’ Several doctors joined the Ohio Democratic Party ahead of the vice president’s rally to implore voters to save the Affordable Care Act, which has long been targeted by the Trump administration. [Dr. Anita Somani]: ‘If we overturn the ACA here in Ohio, health coverage would be impacted for 740,000 folks, with as many as 5 million Ohioans who have pre-existing conditions being affected.’”

  • WSYX: “[Rep. Joyce Beatty]: ‘It’s a sad day, but they’re desperate.’ Democratic Congresswoman Joyce Beatty slammed the rally held next door to her district. ‘I’m very fearful that we will see what we’ve seen at other rallies: a lot of photo ops, very few masks if any.”

  • WSYX: “Democrats seized on the opportunity to slam Pence for holding a large gathering during a pandemic. ‘They’re irresponsible to come here, and I’m very fearful that we will see what we’ve seen at other rallies: a lot of photo-ops, very few masks if any,’ said Democrat Rep. Joyce Beatty on Monday morning. Democrats also pointed out that those conditions existed at Pence’s prior Central Ohio rally in Zanesville; two weeks later, new daily coronavirus cases doubled in Muskingum County.”

  • WSYX: “Ohio Democrats say Pence and Donald Trump are the real threat though, writing in a statement Monday, ‘Mike Pence is parachuting into Columbus for a photo op. We don’t need more super-spreader pep rallies from this failed administration.’”

 

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