Ohio Governor DeWine began his weekly COVID-19 press conference a little differently this week by responding to the rioting and destruction that took place at the Capitol Building Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C.

DeWine began by stating, "Yesterday was a dark day in the history of this great republic. Any day when Americans would have watched their TV and seen a mob storming the U.S. Capitol would have been a bad day." He continued by describing those who engaged in violence as "thugs" and called the insurrection "despicable" and "devastating".

The core of the issue is an erosion of faith according to DeWine. Faith in our system, faith in the Constitution, and faith in our country are being negatively impacted by the continued onslaught to the democratic process.  He went on to describe loss of faith as a disease and described the events of Jan. 6 as, "a direct attack on the Constitution on everything that we hold dear."

DeWine urged trust in the system and unity in the face of adversity as we ride out the final days of the Trump Presidency saying, "Our shared bonds as Americans will always be stronger than our differences. What binds us together is so much more than what tears us apart. We are people who unite in the toughest of times. Right now we are facing some tough times."

At one point, he compared the speech given at the Save America rally by President Trump to the act of fanning the flames of a fire that could destroy our democracy, a fire that started with his refusal to accept the 2020 election results.

When asked by a reporter as to his thoughts on invoking the 25th Amendment and removing Trump from office, DeWine responded, "I would simply say we are down to 13 days until the new president takes office and invoking the 25th Amendment I think is something that we would not want to see happen because I think that would stoke the fires and lessen faith in the system. As a matter for the good of the country, that seems to be something that would cause more division than healing.”

In contrast to five Ohio congressmen, those being Jim Jordan, Bob Gibbs, Warren Davidson, Steve Chabot and Jackson County's own representative Bill Johnson, DeWine proclaimed his vote would have been to certify the Electoral College results and that the evidence just isn't there to prove election fraud. 

Ohio's Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted stressed the difference between an inefficient process and a stolen election, explaining that while the 2020 election could have been handled more efficiently, it was not stolen. 

As far as COVID-19 numbers in Ohio are concerned, to date 221,228 Ohioans have been vaccinated with 670,586 total case, a number that has risen by over 10,000 in the past 24 hours. Phase 1A is winding down as Phase B vaccinations begin on Jan. 19. Ohioans age 80 plus in the general population will be eligible to get the shot. In the weeks following, the group will expand to include those five years younger than the previous, meaning the second week those age 75 can get a shot and so on until age 65 is reached. This group will cover about 2.2 million Ohioans.

On Jan. 25, those who have severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders will then be able to get vaccinated. The CDC is the entity that defines what disorders qualify and DeWine explained that those living with those disorders will be reached out to for their vaccination. 

School staff are coming up on their vaccination date with plans to have them starting Feb. 1 with the hopes of inoculating enough staff in order to have students back in classrooms on March 1.

In order to get this completed, forms are being sent out this week to superintendents asking if there is a want by staff to be vaccinated in order to open along with the state's plan. If the schools are willing, they will become eligible under Phase B. The state is also requesting estimates as to how many staff members would need to be vaccinated and if they have a partner in place to administer the vaccines. If partners are needed, the state will be able to coordinated that with the schools. 

Twitter: @amhulvalchick

Email: ahulvalchick@vintonjacksoncourier.com

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