COLUMBUS— House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) issued a statement today following Governor Mike DeWine’s evening address to the state of Ohio following eight straight days of over 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
“As Ohioans tuned in tonight seeking assurance during these chaotic and frightening times, many of us hoped to see the Governor take decisive action to slow the spread of COVID-19. Instead, what we witnessed was a governor who refuses to lead in times of crisis for fear of standing up to the political pressure within his own party. His cowardice keeps him from doing the right thing, and keeps Ohioans suffering far longer than is necessary. And in the backdrop is a reckoning with racist systems where plans to address racial disparities in COVID-19 have still never been adopted.
This was a wasted opportunity. Ohioans didn’t need another lecture for people to be reasonable about a virus where so many have proven to be unreasonable.
The governor got one thing right tonight – this is a defining time for Ohio. But the message we heard tonight did not rise to the occasion. A public health and economic emergency such as the one Ohioans are suffering through demands clear and decisive action, not cowardice, political pandering and pleading with people who refuse to listen. Ohioans deserve better than this.