A Shot For A Shot At $1 Million
In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss Gov. DeWine's million-dollar ploy to encourage reluctant Ohioans to get vaccinated.
All It Takes Is A Rolled Up Sleeve And A Dream
In a major reversal, DeWine announced this week he would not wait for COVID spread in Ohio to reach the benchmark of 50 cases per 100,000 people to lift health orders. We’re more than double that rate now, but DeWine said he will end orders in three weeks.
The reason, he said, is the vaccines work. They are slowing the spread and keeping people out of hospitals
So on June 2, no more orders for most of us, no mask mandates, no limits on bars and restaurant capacity, no more limits on large crowds. Nursing homes and assisted care living centers will still have to abide by current health orders, however.
The move comes as cases – while at a high rate of spread – are declining steadily in Ohio and it comes as lawmakers are poised to rescind all the state’s orders because of the state law they passed over the governor's veto earlier this year.
To encourage anyone who has not gotten the shot to get it, the governor announced a $5 million giveaway. Five Ohioans who get the vaccine will win a $1 million each. DeWine called it the "Vax-a Million Sweepstakes."
Because teenagers can now get at least the Pfizer vaccine, DeWine will also give away five full-ride college scholarships to any state school to young people who get the vaccine between now and the end of May.
A Possible Challenge From The Right
Since the start of the pandemic and backlash over shutdown orders, there’s been talk of a conservative Republican challenging DeWine. The most frequently named person is Jim Renacci, a businessman, former congressman and failed candidate for U.S. Senate in 2018.
Renaccci has traveled the state on a listening tour. He regularly pokes at DeWine and praises former President Trump on Twitter. This week, word leaked that Renacci has hired a prominent advisor.
Brad Pascale, President Trump’s former campaign manager, told NBC News that he is advising Renacci on a possible primary challenge to DeWine. He even shared the results of a poll that shows Renacci beating DeWine 42% to 37%.
A couple of disclaimers on the poll, it was done by former President Trump's chief pollster so it’s hardly independent. It also included undecided voters who leaned one way or another, which makes a head-to-head match-up a little muddier.
The poll did show more than half viewed the governor unfavorably.
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