COLUMBUS — As COVID-19 cases continue to soar across Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine addressed the state Wednesday evening encouraging Ohioans to continue to fight against the coronavirus and keep the residents safe.
“Today, COVID-19 is spreading with a vengeance across parts of Ohio. It lurks, waiting to attack victims in all 88 counties. Tragically, in four months, we’ve already lost 3,075 Ohioans to this dreaded disease – nearly the same number of Ohioans who died in the Vietnam War,” DeWine said during the conference.
DeWine compared Ohio to other states explaining that on June 9, Florida had 1,200 cases per day – about the same number of cases that Ohio recorded Tuesday. This past Sunday, just one month later, Florida topped the nation with 15,300 new cases in one single day.
“We must act now. This is not a drill. This is not a hoax. This is not a dress rehearsal. It’s the real thing,” DeWine said. “The enemy is here — and Ohioans have simply come too far in this fight to cede ground now.”
DeWine pleaded with Ohioans to wear a mask in all public places including businesses.
“Ohioans have always been willing to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow. I’m asking you to take action now – to sacrifice now – so we can be in school this fall and have a chance to play sports; so businesses can stay open; so Ohioans can continue earning a living,” DeWine said.
DeWine shared that Ohioans have the power to change the future and that this was the defining time for everyone. He said, there has been no greater call in recent times for Ohioans than for everyone to call upon their “better angels,” as President Abraham Lincoln said, and do what is right to protect each other.
“I am asking you, wherever you live, to wear a mask when in public. Some may question the wisdom of masks, but as we said when I was a prosecutor, ‘The jury is back. The verdict is in.’ There is broad consensus in medical, health and business communities that masks are critical,” DeWine said.
DeWine continued, stating further studies suggest that to curb the spread as successfully as wearing face masks does, Ohio would have to consider a lockdown that essentially would subtract 5% of the country’s gross domestic product.
“They found that, in most cases, within a couple of weeks of people consistently wearing facemasks, there was a slowdown in the spread of the virus,” DeWine said.
DeWine stated that wearing a mask is the best way to protect Ohio jobs. A recent report showed that wearing face masks can be viewed as an alternative to lockdowns. While DeWine encouraged residents of Ohio to wear a mask, he stated that mask were not enough.
“Let’s be honest, some have started to let our guard down. I know I sometimes have. We’re tired. We want to go back to the way things were, and that’s very understandable, but when our guard is down, we’re playing Russian Roulette with our lives,” DeWine said.
DeWine shared he believed that positive things would come out of the struggle with the virus including American and Ohio ingenuity, innovation and creativity, deeper relationships with family and friends, and a stronger, renewed sense of community and the obligations to one other.
“We are Buckeyes. We are strong. And we will not relent as we forge our path forward – united – to build Ohio’s great future together,” DeWine said. “As the Bible tells us in Galatians, ‘Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season, we will reap — if we do not give up.’ Ohioans never give up, and Ohioans will not grow weary of doing good and helping to protect each other.”