Ohio governor speaks out against vaccine choice bill

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine spoke out against legislation being considered at the Ohio Statehouse that would prevent private businesses or the government from requiring vaccines.

“I certainly oppose House Bill 248,” DeWine said during a news conference Thursday morning.

Before that statement of opposition, DeWine evoked people to remember how many lives have been saved because of vaccines.

“I remember as a child when polio, struck fear, absolute terror in parents,” DeWine said. “People altered their behavior with their children, their willingness to go to a ballgame and to go to a swimming pool in the summer. People were terrified. Polio is eradicated, and it’s not just polio. Before modern medicines, diseases such as measles, mumps, polio, whooping cough, were common, and caused great, great, great, great suffering and deaths for thousands of people every single year.”

DeWine’s claims are backed up by CDC data.

Deaths from tetanus, whooping cough, are almost unheard of today, and many doctors have never even seen a case of measles. Just fundamental changes that we have seen and changes that I’ve seen in my lifetime, because of the great great work of medical science. Vaccines of are just so very, very important… sometimes it’s easy to forget where we were, or where we would be without these life saving vaccines.

Gov. Mike DeWine

House Bill 248, or the “Vaccine Choice and Anti-discrimination Act,” was introduced in April by Rep. Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester). It would allow individuals to decline any vaccine and for parents to decline for their children to be vaccinated.

Testimony for the bill has drawn national attention this week after one of its proponents falsely claimed that the COVID-19 vaccines can leave people magnetized.

“I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures all over the internet of people who have had these shots and now they’re magnetized. They can put a key on their forehead. It sticks. They can put spoons and forks all over them and they can stick, because now we think that there’s a metal piece to that,” Dr. Sherri Tenpenny said Monday at a Ohio House Health Committee meeting.

Another proponent doubled down on the false claim Wednesday in a failed demonstration.

DeWine did not address the proponent testimony directly, rather saying: “I’m sure there will be opponent testimony as well, and you’ll hear from medical experts who will come in and talk about the different provisions of the bill, but keep keeping the big picture in mind, I think is very important.”

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