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House Dems say Speaker, GOP lawmakers setting dangerous precedent that could undermine health and safety as Ohioans return to work

Remain determined despite GOP rejecting proposal to require CDC-recommended masks, distancing at Statehouse
May 19, 2020
Democrat Newsroom

Ohio House Assistant Minority Leader Rep. Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) today sent a letter to House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) continuing Democratic calls urging him to enact CDC workplace safety recommendations, like requiring facemasks and physical distancing, to protect lawmakers, staff and the general public visiting the Statehouse amid the worst viral pandemic in more than a century.

“Being one of the first workplaces in the state to return following the Stay At Home Order carries with it a bit of pressure to get it right. As elected officials, we have an obligation to lead by example. We remain concerned with the example we are setting for our fellow Ohioans,” Boggs wrote.

Republican lawmakers, led by Speaker Householder, rejected a measure Tuesday sponsored by Rep. Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) that would have required members and staff to follow best health practices by wearing a mask during committees or while on the House floor.

“Masks or cloth facial coverings are recommended by the CDC and other medical professionals and groups to lessen the spread of COVID-19 to others,” Skindell said.

“By wearing a mask, you are demonstrating your deep concern for the health and safety of people around you. Today’s vote is just the latest example of Statehouse Republicans rejecting science, which sets a dangerous precedent as more Ohioans return to work amid the deadliest viral pandemic in more than a century.”

Several Republican lawmakers have come under fire in recent weeks for pushing conspiracy theories regarding coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend covering your mouth and nose with a mask or cloth cover to lessen the spread of COVID-19.  This recommendation exists even if you are keeping a distance of a minimum of six feet between yourself and others. 

House Dems say Speaker, GOP lawmakers setting dangerous precedent that could undermine health and safety as Ohioans return to work (PDF)