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Republican Legislators Hope To Ban Mask And Vaccine Mandates

A dog statue in downtown Columubs has been equipped with a face mask.
David Holm
/
WOSU

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the latest political wrangling over masks and vaccines in the state.

Pandemic Politics

The state reported more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday and Thursday. That’s more than double the daily average for the past three weeks and about 15 times higher than the rates we had in late June. Hospital and ICU admissions are now about double recent daily averages.

Statewide, 60% of residents have now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Because of that disturbing data, it looks like Ohio lawmakers will rush back to the statehouse a couple of weeks early, not to take steps to try to reduce the spread of the virus, but to protect Ohioan’s "freedom."

The legislature is set to hold a hearing on August 24 on the proposed Vaccine Choice and Anti-Discrimination Act, a measure that would prohibit just about any organization or person from requiring a vaccine.

A slew of other bills are also in the works, including bans on mask and vaccine mandates in schools and businesses, and one bill that would ban the state from requiring a vaccine to attend a meeting or event.

Democratic Mayors For Governor

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has officially joined the race for Ohio governor. He joins Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley in the primary campaign to become the Democratic candidate in 2022. In his first ad, Cranley promises 30,000 new infrastructure jobs paid for by legalizing marijuana.

Name Recognition

A new poll conducted by Fabrizio Lee and Associates – the firm that did polling for former President Trump and is now polling for JD Vance’s Super PAC – has good news for Vance.

The poll of likely Republican primary voters taken in late July shows Josh Mandel with the lead at 21%, JD Vance at 12%, former GOP party chair Jane Timken at 7% and Congressman Mike Turner, who’s not even announced he’s running, at 7%. There is still a long way to go and 48% were undecided.

Send questions and comments to snollygoster@wosu.org.

Mike Thompson spends much of his time correcting people who mispronounce the name of his hometown – Worcester, Massachusetts. Mike studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University when he was not running in circles – as a distance runner on the SU track team.
Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.