Apr 9, 2020
Gov. Mike DeWine Ohio Coronavirus Briefing Transcript April 9
Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio held a press briefing today on COVID-19. Read the full transcript of his updates here.
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Mike DeWine: (00:01)
A Hat from Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Amy, in your honor, we have this, Mahoning Valley. And Eric, you want to show them the socks I have on? [inaudible 00:00:14] Okay. These are the Dayton Dragons and the Toledo Mud Hens. So today was supposed to be opening day for the Columbus Clippers. They’re supposed to play at home. Toledo Mud Hens were playing away, Akron RubberDucks away, Lake County Captains away, and the Dayton dragons were supposed to be at home. Our two other teams, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers opened their season later, and the Lake Erie Crushers, part of an independent league, not a Major League affiliate, but a Minor League team, professional team, they were scheduled to open later in the year as well.
Mike DeWine: (01:04)
We have a video to kind of celebrate the five teams that were supposed to open today. Eric, you want to play that? So we play all that to remind us that baseball will come back, and things will get better. Want to give a little update. We’ve done this a number of times, but we’ll continue to do this, and that is how we’re coming in dealing with getting together PPE, the personal protection equipment for our hospital personnel, doctors, nurses, everyone who’s working in nursing homes, and first responders. We still have the challenge that we do not have enough of these, but we continue to work on that, trying to procure some, but also we’re in the process of having some of these made.
Mike DeWine: (02:39)
Our summary really is that it’s our obligation to protect our protectors, people who are protecting us. We’re going to try to buy it, but if we can’t buy it, we’re figuring out how to rework our manufacturing supply chain in Ohio to make it. So, let me give you a little update. I’m pleased to report through the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance, 19 manufacturers have partnered with three hospital groups to begin large scale production of face shields with the specifications from our hospital partners, the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network. MAGNET developed the prototype.
Mike DeWine: (03:24)
We’re particularly excited, our team is making the kind of face shields that can be sterilized at the hospitals and reused. They’ve moved from prototype to production in just two weeks. The Alliance identified the supply chain partners from the companies that registered on the website that we announced just last week. They found dye cutters, injection motors, elastic band cutters, plastic suppliers, and assemblers to help all of this come together.
Mike DeWine: (03:56)
These are companies that normally make products ranging from toys to engine parts. Our partners at Jobs Ohio helps secure the raw materials that were needed. These are true partnerships. Ohioans coming together, working together to find a solution. They’re going to be able to make between 750,000 to 1 million face shields over the next five weeks. Once assembled, they will be it to the Ohio Department of Health, they’ll be inventoried, then they will go out and be distributed across the state of Ohio. Purpose is not for us to hold them. The purpose is to get them out, and we intend to do that. So I want to thank the Alliance partners and participating companies that have come together to make this happen.
Mike DeWine: (04:45)
I think we’ve got … I’ll show, a list on here of the different companies that are doing this. We want to thank all of them very, very much for their great, great work. Ohio’s innovative spirit is shining through to protect our protectors. We’re seeing this spirit in our schools, small manufacturing firms hobbyists, all of whom have been working to make face shields, some through 3D printing. The efforts we’re making now to address this crisis will help us today and strengthen our manufacturing sector well into the future. We’re underway. I will continue to update you as more projects do in fact come online.
Mike DeWine: (05:29)
A lot of discussion, I know, not just in Ohio, but across the country about modeling, about changing estimates of where we are. What we have tried to do each and every day that we’ve talked with all of you is to tell you what we knew, what we know, and when we know it and to get that information out to you as quickly as we can. That’s what we have been doing. We’ve had, I know, some questions. People are talking about the curve and how much it was flattened. What does all this mean? You’re seeing that some of these estimates are changing. You’re seeing, and this is the good news, that these estimates are getting certainly better. Now, we say that all the while knowing that we have Ohioans who are dying every day. Dr. Acton will give you the figures, but these are tragedies that continue to occur. The death rate per day continues to go up.
Mike DeWine: (06:53)
So why are we where we are? Why are we seeing what you’ve been seeing on the news the last several days? Well, first of all, let me just summarize what I think all this means. First of all, it’s good news. Things are not as bad as they might have been. Things are turning out so far better, and that is very, very good news. Why though? Why are the modelers, the experts projecting something different today than they were projecting before? The answer lies with each and every one of you. It’s what you’ve done. Ohioans have made a difference.
Mike DeWine: (07:46)
We’ve made a huge difference. I’ve said time and time again from this podium that it’s not about the orders we issue. It’s about that to some extent, but ultimately it’s what each and every one of you does and does not do. And by and large, Ohioans have done a bang up job. For Ohioans, we get the job done, and you’ve been doing that job.
Mike DeWine: (08:13)
Why were these estimates wrong or were they wrong? When these models were put together no one knew for sure, because it hadn’t happened, what Ohioans would do in regard to social distancing and keeping apart and staying at home. And quite candidly, the modelers didn’t think we were going to do as good a job as we did. They didn’t think Ohioans would do this. They thought we’d do it some, so they had one level of compliance that they thought. We did a lot better.
Mike DeWine: (09:03)
Now I’ve told you this before, I’m a fan of the Back To The Future movies. Michael J. Fox, still like to watch them, but if you recall in those movies there’s sometimes is an alternative future. If you go down one track, you go here, and things happen. You make a separate decision here, and you go down a different track. And as I recall the movies, one of the tracks was usually a good track and the other one was a bad track, and that’s based upon what we do. So we’ve hit a home run. We’ve done a great job.
Mike DeWine: (09:53)
So is it time to celebrate? No, the game is not over. In the rosy scenario, the optimistic projections that you’ve seen in the last several days are based upon a belief and a calculation that we will continue to do the social distancing in the immediate future at the same level and do the same good job as we’ve done up until now. So if we continue to do what we’re doing, the numbers that you’ve seen projected, the curve, that will continue. If we let up, that will not continue. So these are not tools where you predict the future, but they’re tools that, based upon certain facts and certain facts turn out that way, then those results will be fairly accurate.
Mike DeWine: (10:59)
Where do we go from here? Let me just tell you that Lieutenant Governor, Dr. Acton, and our team, all the people that you never see out here who work literally day and night to help us to get this right, all of them now are working not just on closures. We’ve done those. We’ve got to keep doing them, but we’re all working very, very hard to set a path out for us about how we come out of this, how we get back to work, how we get back to living our lives the way we want to live our lives. As Lieutenant Governor yesterday, we’re not going to flip a switch. It’s not going to happen overnight, but we’re working on a fairly sophisticated plan. It’s a plan based upon a number of different things. We’re not going to lay that out today. It’s not done. It is a work in progress, but it’s coming along.
Mike DeWine: (12:16)
In the next week or so we’re going to share that plan with you, what we know about that plan, what we’ve laid out, and talk about where we go once this is over, where we go after we’ve achieved what we need to achieve. So we’re in the middle of the ballgame. It’s not over. We’re doing well. We have to continue to push on. I want to give you an indication that we’re working just as hard, just as hard on how we come back from this as we were when we focused on stay at home orders shutting down, but we need each and every one of you to continue to do what we’ve been doing. That’s the only way we are going to get to the point where we can move forward.
Mike DeWine: (13:11)
Every morning I get a series of numbers and reports, see how we’re doing. The one I look at or one of the ones I look at is the hospitalizations, the deaths Dr. Acton will talk to you about. The death numbers, again, they’re going up per day. Every day there’s more. They are a late indicator. There’s a big, big lag time as we know between the time that someone gets this and the time that that death occurs, if it occurs. But the hospitalization is, it’s a lagging indicator as well, but it’s also something we really keep an eye on.
Mike DeWine: (14:06)
We’re still seeing hospitalizations go up. We compare it every single day for the hospitalizations for the last 24 hours versus the five day average. And based upon that, we see that it is still, those admissions are still going up, but the things that we’re seeing are very encouraging, as you’ve heard in the last several days. We’re optimistic. We’re very happy with where we are at this point. We’ll be talking in the future about where we’re going. The plan is in place, it’s not in place yet, but we’re trying to get it in place and we’re working very, very hard on it. And next week sometime we’ll be able to share that with you. Lieutenant Governor.
Jon Husted: (15:06)
Thank you very much, Governor. So a couple things today that I want to talk about. I want to start with a piece of good news because, as the governor referenced, and Dr. Acton, we’re talking about real people’s lives here when we talk about the Coronavirus, and we hear stories every day about people who are hospitalized, who are struggling, and some that don’t make it. And the good news, I got a call on Tuesday from Dr. Dean Kereiakes from the Christ Hospital and Lindner Research Center in Cincinnati. He actually sent me a text message and said they had this protocol, plasma protocol for people who are most at risk for death, allows them to identify those individuals earlier and then treat them earlier, which they believe will help save lives. But they needed FDA approval. We’ve been on the phone a lot with the FDA recently, developed some wonderful relationships there and so we were able to get that in front of them.
Jon Husted: (16:14)
I really appreciate the fact that at 10:00 PM last night we got word that they have FDA approval for this plasma protocol and now they are taking this statewide to the hospitals across the state who are prepared to use this tool. I mention this today because I want to thank the FDA, but also it’s Ohio’s innovators. Governor talked about the people who were producing the personal protective equipment, the face shields and the like. We also had some amazing medical innovators in the state. We all know that, but you’re just seeing it come along so quickly during this difficult time, and we know that this is going to save lives. These are not statistics, they are real people who have families who will have more hope now, thanks to the great research and work that happened with this endeavor.
Jon Husted: (17:17)
Also, interacted with Secretary of State, Franklin Rose and Democratic party Chairman David Pepper today about voting. We all know that we’re voting by mail right now, hopefully we all know. The election date, the date that they will count these mail in ballots, is April the 28th. Your ballot has to be postmarked by April the 27th. Now, to make sure that everybody understands, there will not be any in-person voting other than for people with disabilities, which you have to contact your local board of elections and make those arrangements, but there will not be any in-person voting for the public in general and we need to make sure that you request your absentee ballot because there’s a lag time here.
Jon Husted: (18:12)
You have to get your absentee ballot application, that has to be sent in. Then they have to send you out your ballot, then you have to obviously cast that ballot, put it back in the mail, and make sure it’s postmarked by April the 27th. You can find all of the details for this process at voteohio.gov. The deadline to request your absentee ballot is April the 25th, but let’s be realistic here folks. These things have to come through the mail. You’re going to want to do it now, you’re not going to want to wait. Or you may call your local board of elections to request that ballot, so this is a bipartisan request out there. Please act early. Make that request so that you can get your ballot, make your decision, and send that back before the April 28th deadline. There will be no in-person voting. It’s all going to be done by mail for this primary.
Jon Husted: (19:06)
Additionally, I know that the country was taken by the jobs report this morning. 6.6 million people nationally have lost jobs due to the Coronavirus. Of those people, 696,519 were Ohioans who have applied for unemployment, who have lost their jobs, coronavirus related. That’s nearly twice as many in three weeks as we had in all of 2019, so you can see that there is just an enormous amount of activity and uncertainty that the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services is trying to help you address by getting you access to unemployment benefits.
Jon Husted: (19:53)
$132 million since this started has been sent out the door to 207,000 people who’ve applied. ODJFS informed me this morning they have expanded their capacity by 20 times in terms of just personnel. They have more than 1000 people currently working to process these services, and in the coming days are going to add additional capacity to the website to continue to try to improve the way that they serve you.
Jon Husted: (20:22)
And just another issue, I got a call from a member of Congress the other day who was rightly following up about something that happened to the Cares Act. If you recall, there was a provision in there that provides unemployment benefits for people who are independently employed or 1099 tax filers. As we know, they are not normally eligible for unemployment. In the Cares Act they made them eligible. However, there is no distribution system for you to even apply at this point in time for those resources. But Ohio is building one. We’re building one very aggressively, enabling or working with people in the private sector who have skills in these kinds of areas with technology building that platform.
Jon Husted: (21:09)
We expect that it will be up and running in probably mid-May, hopefully on the earlier side of that, but everybody’s benefits will be backdated to the time that you were eligible. So, know that is on its way, that they’re building this capacity. No one is being forgotten. No one will be left behind. We will get this accomplished.
Jon Husted: (21:31)
Then two final points. Wifi hotspots. I mentioned the fact that you may be working from home, you may have a student and you may live somewhere where you don’t have great internet access. You may be burning through your data. You’d like to have access to a wifi hotspot. We’ve upgraded the number of places where that is available. The information is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov, and it’s under the tab that says economic resources for individuals and families. The library …
Lt. Governer Husted: (22:03)
Resources for individuals and families. The libraries wanted us to remind you that even though they’re closed, their parking lots are places that you can still go and have access to wifi in your local community. So that’s an important thing for everyone to remember. Now, I saw a report earlier today about Singapore. Singapore is one of the countries that had an early coronavirus hit, but then they started to come back out of it, and now you’re seeing that spike back up. They’re having a second round of this happen, which makes me, I think makes us all, very empathetic to what that country is going through as we’re going through many of the same things.
Lt. Governer Husted: (22:46)
But I am optimistic about what we’re doing. I know the people who are working on the things that the governor outlined, how committed they are to finding a great strategy and a way forward. I have not been through this entire time more optimistic about that than I am today. And during this holy season, I was taken to Galatians 6:9. It says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” And that’s my prayer in plea today that we not give up, that we stay the course, and that we will come out healthier, stronger and better in the end. And thank you very much for all you’re doing out there. Governor.
Mike DeWine: (23:30)
Dr. Acton: (23:31)
Thank you governor. Good afternoon everyone. We are going to start with some numbers today, and then we’re going to do the first in a series. This is our first time doing this. Well, we’re going to try to talk to some of the people out on the front lines. It’s hard being here in the state house. We’re observing very careful social distancing, and sometimes it’s frustrating. In the beginning we were able to have people come join us, so we’re going to take the chance to take you out with us and talk to some of those first responders. But first, we’ll start with the numbers today. Here in Ohio, we have 5,512 cases as of this morning, now in 84 counties on record of our 88 counties in Ohio with cases. And we are now reporting that there are 213 deaths. And again, these deaths… Next slide… Are definitely, we’re seeing this in all age ranges. We’re definitely seeing people, very young people hospitalized now in the ICU.
Dr. Acton: (24:44)
I think the Lieutenant governor made reference to the need for plasma and antibodies, which is a really great new tool in our tool chest, but really struggling hard to get that knowing that there are some young people out there who could really use that, so we’re doing everything we can to expedite the kinds of treatments and tools that we can put in place for our frontline providers. We do know that we have tested now 55,000 folks, but we really still are struggling with the lack of testing. We have some hope on that horizon. We have whole teams of folks working to expedite testing in the state, and in particularly serologic testing, so hope on the horizon. The Lieutenant governor and I will be talking a lot about our pathway forward out of this, and we’ll have some good news to share in the coming week on that front.
Dr. Acton: (25:41)
Again, ICU admissions still quite high, and hospitalizations. Next slide. This is a new slide today. In addition, we talk a lot about modeling but there still are some very basic numbers that are a big part of something we need to see in order to know that we can start returning responsibly to recovery. And so today we’re going to start some trend data for you. And we’re looking here at cases; we’ve been averaging 364 new cases. Again, still tough numbers because we know we have limited testing, but in times to come, we’ll track that number. Today we went up by 355. Any one day doesn’t tell us a lot; we still get a lot of backlog testing and big clumps at times, but this gives us a sense of trends we can start to monitor as we look toward our recovery, and going down the mountain, so to speak.
Dr. Acton: (26:41)
And deaths on average, we do about 22 deaths. I’m sorry, I said that backwards. We had a little above average number of cases. The five day death average was 22 deaths. We had 20 in the last 24 hours. Five day hospitalization average at 121. The last 24 hours with 117 in hospitalizations. Talking to a lot of the hospital CEOs, they have seen that staying relatively steady. Five day ICU admission average of 34, and we see that number at 25. So these are trends that we will be following. So I’d like to now introduce you to someone. Hello, hello, can you hear me, Dr. Armstrong.?
Dr. Armstrong: (27:29)
Yes I can.
Dr. Acton: (27:29)
Dr. Armstrong: (27:29)
Can you hear me okay?
Dr. Acton: (27:34)
Yes, perfectly. And I just want to introduce everyone. This is Dr. Tony Armstrong. He is an OBGYN in Toledo. So he’s going to tell you a little bit about what’s on the front lines. He’s the son, actually of, joined early in his career, his father’s practice in OB GYN. His mom was a federal judge here in Ohio. But recently he is the president of OSMA. It is the Ohio State Medical Association, which works closely with the AMA.
Dr. Acton: (28:05)
And we’ve asked him to talk a little bit about what he is seeing on the front lines in terms of something that is something we all worry about, which are the social determinants of health, some racial disparities, and making sure that we’re not leaving anyone behind. We know, Dr. Armstrong that we’ve had disparities in health way before we ever faced COVID-19 and coronavirus, but we’re now learning that the fatality rate is disproportionate in the African American and Latino communities. And I’d love you to share more about why you think this may be the case.
Dr. Armstrong: (28:45)
Well, there’s still a lot of unanswered questions but, historically in this country, there’s always been disparities, unfortunately, in health care, and disparities in terms of access to quality health care as well. Generally speaking, African-Americans, people of color, and from impoverished areas, they tend to not see doctors regularly. And so they may have, as we referred to is comorbidities, whether that’s obesity, hypertension, et cetera, that become deflected over time. Poor nutritional habits and all these things may contribute to their overall susceptibility that if they do get this virus, that the outcome is likely to be very poor. Also, historically, because of underlying fears, they also tend [inaudible 00:29:45] they are generally very sick. And then their outcomes obviously are not going to be as optimum as if they get a reentry into the healthcare system, whether it’s from this virus or other chronic illnesses.
Dr. Acton: (30:05)
Thank you. Tell me more about some of the messaging out in the community. Some folks have felt that perhaps that they’re not susceptible to this virus. And do you think or doing a good enough job in our public health messaging, and how could we do better?
Dr. Armstrong: (30:25)
Very [inaudible 00:30:26] And some of the early messaging when the pandemic was starting to hit the United States, there were some myths that were quickly dispelled. And some of those are generational, and some of those may be cultural. In the African American community there was this misperception that, I can’t get the illness. And then generationally, we saw the spring breakers dancing on the beaches in Florida, thinking that they were immune to the virus as well. And of course we know that is quite the opposite.
Dr. Armstrong: (31:04)
There’s also this perception of severity that, if I do get the virus, that my outcome, depending on your generation or your cultural beliefs, that your outcome may not be poor. And so you may have a healthcare behavior that may put not just yourself at risk, but the others around you. And so I think the messaging that’s being done and the social distancing and Governor DeWine’s order to stay at home in the quarantining, we’re starting to see that working. And so in some areas, it’s harder to reach people with that message. And a lot of people get messaging about healthcare through their schools and through their places of faith. And of course, now those aren’t accessible. So I think we’re doing a good job. I think actually be doing a fantastic job in Ohio. And it’ll take a little bit of time, but it seems to be working.
Dr. Acton: (32:09)
So I think you are working in the near Detroit area and Toledo. Some people are wondering about how they best access health care. What messages would you give to folks about getting access to care, and what are you seeing kind of on the ground in Toledo?
Dr. Armstrong: (32:27)
Well, a couple of things there. The first thing is about access. And we’re using a lot of telehealth in Ohio, and specifically using a smartphone or an iPad, having visual audio visits. If you don’t have an established physician, most practices are taking on new patients. And if you don’t have a smartphone or iPad, then you could also use a laptop and you can do what we call E-visits, or you can message your doctor and say, “These are the symptoms that I’m having.” And the doctor messages back with instructions of what you should do.
Dr. Armstrong: (33:15)
The other thing is a lot of people still have the old flip phone, especially some of the elderly population. And we still do the old fashioned telephone call. And then there’s a process, a journey you go through where they will sort of screen with whatever your symptoms are and instruct you if this is something that they can take care of through an electronic prescription, is this something that you have to have face to face in the office, or do they have to direct you to an acute care facility?
Dr. Acton: (33:46)
So this is a time when we know our safety net, our social safety net, is struggling. Our food banks, our nonprofits that typically reach out to disenfranchise communities, they’re struggling as well, as our businesses are struggling right now. So are there any words of advice or thoughts you have? Because I know this is a local response; it takes whole communities to come together. Do you have any advice and maybe words you’d like to leave with communities of color?
Dr. Armstrong: (34:20)
Well the first thing is that to access health care particularly when you need it. And then adhere to the message that Governor DeWine has been issuing over the past month. And that is, be kind to each other. If you have to go out, then practice the social distancing. If you do cross state lines, like it’s common from Detroit to Toledo, then quarantine yourself for the 14 days. And then the hygiene. And so I think if we practice all those things, we’re going to continue to see this flattening of the curve. And this is something, of course, that we’ve never thought we would experience in our lifetime, and it’s heartbreaking to see what’s going on out there. And so a lot of people’s mechanisms might be going to their place of faith or some sort of social gathering, but now we can’t do that.
Dr. Armstrong: (35:23)
And this weekend coming up with a lot of religious celebrations that are just going to be smaller celebrations at home. So it’s a difficult time. But the doctors of Ohio are here for you; the Ohio State Medical Association is a resource for all citizens of Ohio. And I would like to personally, and with the [inaudible 00:35:50] commend Governor DeWine, Lieutenant Governor Husted, and yourself, Dr. Acton, for what you’ve done. And a shout out to my colleagues, to the nurses of which one is my wife, and to all the medical professionals and to support people who are out there on the front lines. And just to be safe, be healthy, and Ohio strong.
Dr. Acton: (36:15)
Thank you so much. I just want to thank you for everything you’re doing on behalf of Ohioans.
Dr. Armstrong: (36:21)
Dr. Acton: (36:21)
Take good care.
Dr. Armstrong: (36:23)
Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Dr. Acton: (36:25)
Thank you. Thank you. And I do want to say a couple things. First of all, this is an issue, dealing with inequities in health is something we have to be extra vigilant about in this time. I know our local health departments and our partners are doing their part, nonprofits, philanthropy. This is a tough time for everyone. But especially so, I want to thank minority leader Emilia Sykes. I know she’s doing a lot bring attention to this issue. Her background is also public health. If I could say one thing, this has been a tough week, and we are seeing a lot of deaths here in Ohio. We also are seeing a lot of confusing messages out in the media. And I want to say to you, Ohioans, stay strong, keep doing the right thing. I don’t know if you can hear through the television, but there are people protesting right now outside the state house. And people are worried, they’re afraid, they’re afraid about things like their jobs.
Dr. Acton: (37:32)
And I want you to know that we are working just as rigorously on the recovery from this. We’ve been determined to protect Ohioans from the very beginning and the steps we have taken and you are continuing to take are saving lives. We’d have to be redetermined on responsibly recovering. There’s a lot of work we’ll be sharing in the days ahead, but I want to tell you an analogy that has come to mind for me. And in hearing the voices, it’s really striking home. This is a hard mountain to climb, everyone. My husband and I, we talked a lot about the climbing the Mount Everest analogy. He and I had the opportunity a couple years ago to try to climb the tallest mountain, Mount Whitney, here in the United States. And there are so many lessons we can take from that. It is an arduous climb up this mountain and we have done it together.
Dr. Acton: (38:25)
I want you to know it’s very hard work on descent too. Climbing mountains takes an incredible amount of teamwork. It takes having Sherpas and people to help us lead the way. It takes being very careful and going to each base camp carefully. I want you to know that every move we’re making is based in the best science, and we will not leave your side as we get you carefully do this arduous journey ahead. And it’s a mountain range. We are climbing and are reaching a peak of a mountain here in Ohio, and we will be seeing a lot of hospitalizations and deaths. But we will escort you equally as carefully, and we hope to be one of the most aggressive and assertive states on that recovery, getting down that mountain and getting back to our lives, but we must do it responsibly. Thank you.
Mike DeWine: (39:17)
Doctor. Ready for questions.
Molly Martinez: (39:22)
Hi, this is Molly Martinez with Spectrum News. My question is for… Sorry, it’s my magnetic personality. My question is for the Lieutenant Governor. How can self employed people get unemployment benefits, and do we have the numbers of how many people have been denied unemployment, and how many claims are still pending?
Lt. Governer Husted: (39:43)
[inaudible 00:39:43] the last part of your question. The first part of your question was sort of what I addressed in my opening remarks. In the Cares Act, independently employed people, 1099 filers, are eligible. There was an appropriation in the federal bill to help support them. The challenge is, is that there was no system built for them to apply because they’re not eligible in the current system. So an entirely new system is going to need to be built state to state. It’s not like we can just plug them in to our existing system. We have to have a new system to handle that.
Lt. Governer Husted: (40:24)
So we are in the process of building that system. Their eligibility will be backdated to the point that they were eligible, or I mean, the funding they will receive will be backdated to the point they’re eligible. That system is being built right now. As I, as I told one of our members of Congress who voted for that piece of legislation yesterday, the appropriation was there, the system to deliver it was not. That system to deliver it is being built, and we hope to have it available sometime in mid May to hopefully sooner than that timeframe. I just wouldn’t want to promise something that I am not in control of delivery.
Molly Martinez: (41:01)
Laura Hancock: (41:06)
This is Laura Hancock with Cleveland.com. NPR and other media are reporting that federal funding for several dozen testing sites, COVID testing sites, is ending tomorrow. And I’m wondering how this is going to affect Ohio.
Mike DeWine: (41:27)
I didn’t hear that all, I’m sorry. Several… I apologize, I just didn’t hear it.
Laura Hancock: (41:34)
NPR and other media are reporting that several dozen testing sites that were funded by the federal government, that’s ending tomorrow, the funding. So I’m just wondering how this affects Ohio.
Mike DeWine: (41:48)
I don’t know. I don’t know. You know John? I don’t know.
Lt. Governer Husted: (41:56)
I’m not aware of that report or how that would affect Ohio. We certainly can look into it, but just don’t have any information on it right now.
Lacey Crest: (42:10)
Hi, Lacey Crest from 10 TV. We still are getting a lot of emails into our newsroom about the unemployment benefits. Those people who are struggling to get through. We got an email from Alyssa, who is single mother of four, and she says she had a down payment for a house. She applied for benefits on the 21st and she is still waiting to get a single check. We understand that you’re hiring people, you’re moving a thousand people into those offices, but what do you say to those people who can’t pay their bills, who are waiting on those unemployment checks?
Mike DeWine: (42:43)
John? John’s been working on this. Let me start. If someone has not gotten their check, we apologize. [inaudible 00:42:53] needs that money, obviously, and they have not gotten that money. So it’s something that I will, as soon as I leave here, I will check on and see what kind of backlog there is about issuing the checks. What we’ve talked a lot about, of course, is people having a hard time getting into the system. We think that’s pretty much cleared up. But as far as checks being delayed, I will check on that as soon as I leave here.
Lt. Governer Husted: (43:25)
Yeah, I can provide some, some data on that. First of all, understand how the unemployment system normally works. It’s designed with checks and balances in there to make sure that the people who are applying are eligible because understand, that’s an insurance program. So if somebody is taking out of it who shouldn’t qualify, then they’re essentially taking money away out of somebody else’s pocket, so to speak. So that’s why the system is designed with checks and balances, which means that it does take time to have people qualify. This is an extraordinary time though. There’s no doubt about that.
Lt. Governer Husted: (44:01)
… Every time though, there’s no doubt about that. We have tried to expedite those claims. Normally, I’m told that it takes 10 days, even under normal circumstances for somebody to receive their first payment once they apply, it gets approved. That gets processed and gets out the door. In this particular circumstance, we have already sent out $132 million to 207,000 of those applicants. So the money is coming out the door. It’s going fast. I’ve been watching the trends on this.
Lt. Governer Husted: (44:38)
There’s about $15 million a day going out right now and it will continue to pick up as more and more of these folks get processed through the system. It wasn’t until just a couple of days ago that they actually caught up just on processing the claims, let alone getting to move through the system. All of that is catching up.
Lt. Governer Husted: (44:59)
The team was not prepared for this. Just like the hospital system wasn’t prepared for this, the unemployment system was not prepared to deal with what it’s dealing with right now. It’s building out very fast, as fast as they’re able to bring new people on because this is not just simply filling out a form and you can just put anybody in there. The person that has to come there and work and fill this out has to be trained. They have to know what the eligibility requirements are. They have to know how to process this through the system.
Lt. Governer Husted: (45:31)
So it’s not an excuse. It’s just an explanation about what it is, why it’s happening at that pace. But to those families, I completely am empathetic to their situation and I want them to know that if they qualify, they’re going to get their money and it’s going to be backdated to the date that they were eligible. And we are working. We are pushing the system as fast as we can to get it turned around from them because we know just like every death, every unemployment claim is a real person with a real family who has real challenges and we are trying to help them.
Tom Bosco: (46:11)
Tom Bosco with ABC 6 here in Columbus. Just in Central Ohio in the past day or so we’ve seen a couple of school districts schedule tentative in-person graduation dates for later than usual. Obviously for July and just this afternoon we’ve seen the Ohio High School Athletic Association put out a tentative schedule for some spring sports tournaments. Is this a signal that we are that close to reopening and when will you make a decision on reopening schools for the rest of the school year?
Mike DeWine: (46:45)
Well, I think we’re all looking forward to the future and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with people planning ahead with the hope that we will be open. So I’m sure what is going through their mind is we don’t know if we’re going to be open or not, but if we’re going to be open, we at least need to plan for that. So I think that’s a, that’s a wise thing to do. We don’t know when we’re going to be able to reopen.
Mike DeWine: (47:14)
There are indicators that we are looking at the hospitalization rate for example, and you look at that rate, how that is coming. We try to look at it what’s the trend lines? So you look at five day average and then you look at what each day is and you see how that is. So we certainly have a ways to go. The death rate continues to go up tragically in Ohio.
Mike DeWine: (47:41)
We are concerned about what’s going on in any place where there’s congregate living, where we cannot have the separation that is taking place now in the general public. So we set the date of May 1st with the idea that we couldn’t see based on the data we saw at the time, any way that we would be open before May 1st.
Mike DeWine: (48:06)
As we get closer to May 1st, we’re going to evaluate it. We’re going to be open as soon as we can get open. But that will be a gradual opening. Turn the switch on and then every everything goes back to where it was. So a long answer to tell you I don’t know yet.
Tom Bosco: (48:27)
So do you have a deadline or a date that you hope to make a decision by for schools?
Mike DeWine: (48:33)
Well, we’ll make a decision as early as we can and we’re trying to signal to people exactly what is going on. And again, as we look at new data coming in every single day, at the same time, we’re looking at this data coming in. We are in the process of preparing how we get back. And we’ve said a lot of this depends on what tools we have. And we’re frantically trying to get these tools in.
Mike DeWine: (49:03)
We’re trying to get their personal protection equipment in. That’s not only important for what we’re into now and protecting everyone. It’s important as we try to see how we could protect people as we would move out. And as we try to get back to normal, whether we have that. The testing that we have talked about and you heard a Lieutenant Governor, Dr. Acton talked about both about today, how well that testing comes on and how fast it comes on is going to also influence when we can start back. So a lot of variables, a lot of things going on and we’re just going to have to see.
Jesse Balmert: (49:48)
Hi, this is Jesse Balmert with the Enquirer. I have a question about patients who are also health care workers. Do we know-
Mike DeWine: (49:55)
I’m sorry, for what?
Jesse Balmert: (49:56)
Oh, I have a question about patients who are also health care workers. I guess do we know if they’re kind of spread out across the state or if there is any concentrations or is there a reason why we haven’t had data on either a county or a hospital level about those individuals?
Mike DeWine: (50:15)
I’m going to ask Dr. Acton if she knows. I don’t know the answer.
Dr. Acton: (50:17)
Thanks. Hi Jesse. We’ve been reporting, I know healthcare worker cases and I’ll look into at what level of granularity. I understand what you’re asking there. And so we’ve been keeping track. Again, we know it’s probably the tip of the iceberg. Even amongst folks who are healthcare workers, not everyone has been tested, especially in front lines on nursing homes. Some of the staff, once they know that there’s infection there, some tests are reserved and they assume it clinically.
Dr. Acton: (50:50)
Again, the frustration in all of this remains two things really nationwide and worldwide, the lack of protective gear. I mean we talk about you can’t do elective surgeries if you don’t have the gear to gear up in and we’re saving the gear for everybody on the front line right now. It’s very, very frustrating. I know for everyone. And the testing similarly we are doing everything we can to use the tests, the few tests we have as accurately as possible, but those numbers just aren’t that revealing until we have more widespread testing.
Dr. Acton: (51:26)
Just to piggyback off the governor, I do want to say we’re going to give you an elaborate framework that’s been developed around recovery, but there are a couple of key things and I’ll point people if you want to sort of, again, this is a hint of things to come. There’s a really great New York times article today by Aaron Carroll. He’s the Incidental Economist, but he’s a physician in Indiana, pretty famously blogs on this and he’s also referring to something that was something done by Scott Gottlieb and a whole team of researchers around the United States.
Dr. Acton: (52:03)
It is by the American Enterprise Institute, but I think that and some of the work done at Johns Hopkins and then around the world, you’re seeing all the best scientists talk about how do you responsibly keep this from spiking again, we see in Singapore today, as Lieutenant Governor said. The fact is most of our population is still susceptible and we have no real idea of the prevalence of this infection yet.
Dr. Acton: (52:33)
The good news is we have a lot of tools that we’ve put in place. The second we have those tests in our hand and some work we’re going to be doing over the next few weeks to get at those numbers better. I think Ohio is going to have one of the best. It really is one of the best frameworks I’ve seen, but it’s based on these concepts. It’s based on having enough testing because we really need to be able. We want to know who’s sick and we want to let the people who have recovered go back to their lives in a really responsible way. So that is so key. We need to have that PPE and the hospitals have full capacity.
Dr. Acton: (53:06)
This whole time, we have been rebuilding and unprecedented response a triage system so that no hospital in Ohio is overwhelmed as we’ve seen some small hospitals become. And that our whole system could take on what’s going to be an ongoing onslaught of patients with COVID. This isn’t going to end even when many of us returned back to work because our population is not immune and that there is no vaccine. People will still be sick. And so we need a healthcare system built up. We need a public health system built out more robustly, so that we can really contact trace effectively.
Dr. Acton: (53:42)
And finally, we really need to see these numbers show that we’re on that down slope. We really need to see 14 days of decreased cases because it’s a long and this very terrible virus, that is like the ideal enemy of viruses. It’s a long incubation period, so we’d really need to see sustained decreases at least 14 days out to know that we’re really seeing a steady suppression.
Dr. Acton: (54:07)
Here’s another hint of the future. What we will see instead of an overall spike is we will see spikes all over our state and high risk areas. And what we have built and I’m so excited to share with everyone next week, is really a response system that can jump on those fires when they start early in the fire, smush them out, know everyone who is impacted, and really keep that from spreading throughout the rest of the community.
Dr. Acton: (54:35)
That’s going to be key because what we’re going to see, you always see that curve and it tails off, but what it’s going to be in the case of coronavirus is a squiggly line of spikes. Not as spiky as the beginning spike, but what we’ll see are these flare ups all over the country and here in Ohio. And we want to be able to nip those in the bud when they happen. And then we’ll also see sort of a gradual turning on of things, a gradual responsible recovery. And economically, quite honestly, that’s the case too.
Dr. Acton: (55:09)
Even with none of these social distancing things, if all were removed, the economic covery is still dealing with the fact that we have this deadly virus, which is taking people out of work, it’s impacting families, it’s impacting loved ones that people have to stay home with. So all of that has to be done well together. And the good news is Ohio does have a plan. It’s nearing its final stages, but I think people will be very pleased with what they see. Thank you.
Jesse Balmert: (55:36)
Andrew Welsh-Huggins: (55:41)
Hi, it’s Andrew Welsh-Huggins with the Associated Press. And this question is for Dr. Acton and maybe Governor DeWine as well. Dr. Acton, yesterday when you were talking a little bit about social determinants, you pointed out and you said that, ” my budget is being cut drastically to get us through this period.” And so I’m wondering if that statement is accurate, could you just explain maybe for the average Ohioan why your budget of any budget in this state being cut drastically? It seems like you would be untouchable, especially because we’re in the middle of a pandemic.
Dr. Acton: (56:23)
Well, I’ll let the Governor answer as well. Do you want to start?
Mike DeWine: (56:26)
Yeah sure, I’ll start.
Dr. Acton: (56:27)
I’ll let him start.
Mike DeWine: (56:28)
We are right in the process now of making decisions about the budget. As I’ve indicated here before and kind of state the obvious. When you’re in a downturn in a economy, two things happen. Social service costs go up dramatically and the income goes down dramatically. That obviously is taking place right now in the state budget. So we’re in the process of making decisions about what kind of cuts that we’re going to make, because we have to make cuts. We can’t print money, we have to balance our budget and the sooner that we start down that process, the better off that we’re going to be.
Mike DeWine: (57:09)
But those things that are connected with this virus and fighting this virus, those things that are connected with getting us to the point where we can recover, those are going to take priority because we are in a crisis and so anything that Dr. Acton is doing or the any of our other departments are doing that’s focused on this is not going to be something that we will have the ability or the inclination to cut. But no real final decisions as far as Dr. Acton’s budget or anybody else’s budget. We have 20 some members of our cabinet and none of those decisions have been made. But they are going to be made in the next few days.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins: (57:57)
Jim Province: (58:02)
Hello Governor, Jim Province with the Blade. It’s good to see you. As we’re speaking, I can see the protesters outside, the black flag-waving. Do you anticipate that the backlash will only build as these orders continue to go on as the shutdown continues? And how do you counter that and prevent compliance from dropping off?
Mike DeWine: (58:24)
Well, first of all, my wife Fran and I grew up in Yellow Springs. All the time we were growing up, there’s on Saturday morning, it was people who were protesting. We’re big believers in the first amendment. And the folks who are outside have every right to be out there. And they have every right to say whatever they want to say. So we respect that.
Mike DeWine: (58:50)
My job I think is to communicate is honestly and as candidly as I can to the people of the state of Ohio. And I will guarantee you that we’re not going to keep these orders on one day longer than we have to. And what I’m asking Ohioans to do is hang in there. All the evidence that we have indicates that if we don’t hang in there, if we don’t continue to do what we’re doing, it’s going to cost a lot of lives.
Mike DeWine: (59:25)
And, and it’s going to delay our ability to economically recover. The last thing we need is this thing to, is I’ve likened this to a monster and it’s sort of on the floor, but it’s still obviously claiming lives. We can’t let it up and we can’t feed it. And the way you feed it is by coming out and exposing yourself and exposing other people.
Mike DeWine: (59:52)
So I think that the people of the state of Ohio understand. They’re as frustrated as I am. I don’t like this any better than anybody else likes it. But I think the people of Ohio have a lot of good common sense and I think they’re looking at the facts, and my assurance to them today we’re not going to keep this on one day longer than we have to. Once we can start moving it out, we’re going to do that. We’re going to do it in an intelligent way that will enable us to get out of it.
Mike DeWine: (01:00:27)
But also we’re going to do everything we can so that we don’t have a re-spike, so we don’t have it coming back. And that’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be easy because as Dr. Acton just said, there’s going to be a large number of us who have not contracted this virus and the virus is still here. And so what that means is those of us who have not contracted this yet are going to have to be extremely careful.
Mike DeWine: (01:00:54)
And those who are older, those who have a compromised immune system or any other health problems are going to have to be particularly careful. If we can get the testing at the level that we want, we’re going to be able to make some rational decisions and people are going to make rational decisions about who can do what.
Mike DeWine: (01:01:19)
But there’s frustration out there. I get it. I’m frustrated as well, but we’re Ohioans, we’re tough. We got to hang in there because if we don’t, we’re going to pay the price and it’s going to be a heavy, heavy toll.
Jim Province: (01:01:34)
Is a large gathering like this, a protest like this, a violation of your public gathering order?
Mike DeWine: (01:01:39)
We excluded in that order. People exercising their constitutional rights in the first amendment particularly. I have no idea how large the crowd is because I have not walked outside, but I’m listening to them as we all are, that they have every right to do that. We’re not going to tell them they can’t do that. I would just say to them, “Please be safe. Please stay away from each other. I know you’re shouting but don’t shout on someone else.” Try to get back a little bit because it remains dangerous out there.
Jim Province: (01:02:17)
Ben Schwartz: (01:02:22)
Good afternoon. I’m Ben Schwartz with WCPO in Cincinnati. Governor DeWine, I want to ask you, we’ve been getting a lot of questions sent in from truck drivers who are concerned about truck stops like rest stops and being able to purchase food there. We’re wondering if you have any plans to allow things like food trucks to be at state rest stops. So truck drivers are able to buy something to eat.
Mike DeWine: (01:02:49)
The answer is yes and we are working on that and I thought, I’ve not stopped at a rest area for a while. But I thought that there were some already there, but I will talk to Director Jack Marshbanks because when he was on the video a few days ago or on the screen, this is one of the things he talked about. So I will talk to him because we want the food to be there for folks who stop so that they will not have to get off and that they’ll be able to get the food that they need and that would certainly be consistent with the order that we have in place.
Ben Schwartz: (01:03:28)
Mike DeWine: (01:03:28)
Thank you for bringing that to my attention, Ben. Thank you.
Noah Blundo: (01:03:35)
Governor, Noah Blundo with Hannah News Service. I’m wondering if the decision on reopening schools is all or nothing for you or if it’s possible that regions or grade bans, or schools of a certain population will be able to reopen earlier. Or if it’s going to be just a yes or no question for you.
Mike DeWine: (01:03:58)
Well, I don’t think anything’s yes or no. Not anything is really determined. I mean it’s going to be based upon the facts. I mean, I wouldn’t want people to come away from this two o’clock press conference and think that we’re going to pick and choose. But if I suppose if the facts would indicate that that made sense, we might do that. I think that would be unlikely. I think at least from what I know at this point it would be an unlikely decision.
Noah Blundo: (01:04:32)
Eran Hami: (01:04:38)
Hi, Eran Hami with WLIO in Lima. Governor, my question is for you. Looking at the new model when we get to the back end of the curve here. Have you given any thought to lifting those orders on a county by county basis, specifically those counties with significantly lower numbers in cases?
Mike DeWine: (01:04:57)
well, I’m going to let Dr. Acton because she’s the one that advises me. One of the challenges is that we don’t have consistent testing. Some of our major hospitals have testing. My guess is that skews the numbers somewhat. We don’t know how much in those particular areas. So we still have, I think Dr. Acton said four counties that we don’t have a positive in. I would be shocked if the virus is not in those four counties. I’m going to let the doctor talk about that.
Dr. Acton: (01:05:44)
Thank you. That is a great question and it’s something, that we’re really thinking it’s less geographic, especially since we don’t know the prevalence and don’t have good data yet. And it will more likely be based on conditions and …
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:06:03)
… be based on conditions and [inaudible 01:06:04]. But what we do think will happen is that more at the local level, we will see these outbreaks, but we’ll also see quieting. And actually one of the things we’re working on is a sort of meter, sort of like TSA where you have different levels of heightened security, that as we monitor the virus, once we can monitor the virus throughout Ohio, we could almost have heightened levels of where it is in communities in higher prevalence or not. And that could be very useful for you at home to make decisions about.
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:06:38)
I mean, we know we’re going to be living for a long time with washing hands and distancing kinds of things to be safe. But eventually when we have the kind of data we need, we’ll be able to know a lot more subtlety at the local level. So, I think that’s a great question.
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:06:56)
And another part of what the science of what we’re going to be doing, we’re going to be doing actually a giant survey of Ohioans, which will take place actually in the next two weeks. So, it will be very soon that we’re going to get some data from people about what they’ve experienced, especially folks who maybe were sick and mild and stayed at home and we don’t have them in my data here.
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:07:19)
But when we have the blood test, and we think toward the end of this month, keep our fingers crossed, because nothing is… Until you have it in your hands, I don’t quite believe it this days until we have the test in hand. But we’re going to be doing a sampling of 1,000 people in Ohio that are a representative sample of people. So we can see who might have even been asymptomatic and never known they had the virus.
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:07:45)
And from this kind of very detailed epidemiologic data, so no models, just real knowing from people on the ground detective work, we’ll be able to have a better sense of where we are with this virus in Ohio. And that will help us make better decisions. So, it’s a lot of things we’re going to bring to bear as quickly as we can, as the Governor said. And I just want to echo that sentiment he said so beautifully. This is a painful time we are going through, and we are feeling every emotion. All of us have felt every emotion from frustrating and maybe raising our voices in a meeting and feeling frustrated ourselves, to despair at what we feel we have lost. And so, please keep bearing with us, because we really want to lead the way on doing this for Ohioans in the best way possible. Thank you.
Lt. Gov. John Husted: (01:08:43)
Mike DeWine: (01:08:43)
The Lieutenant Governor does have some information on unemployment.
Lt. Gov. John Husted: (01:08:46)
Yeah, I do have some updates on some of the unemployment issues that have been raised. I texted Director Kim Hall and she said that they have caught up on all approved claims. So, all claims that have been approved have been caught up, either with the digital payment or a check that’s been sent out.
Lt. Gov. John Husted: (01:09:08)
There are always some though that are more complex. Those who have mismatching social security numbers, missing documentation, multiple employers, eligibility issues. And so, those claims that have those issues are still being processed. So, they’ll have to work with it individual, but she told me as of right now, everybody who has a claim that’s been filed that has been approved, those checks have gone out the door.
Lt. Gov. John Husted: (01:09:45)
So, that’s your update. I know that a lot of states are having these same issues, but at least on that piece we have a bit of good news that they’ve caught up.
Andy Chow: (01:09:57)
Hi, everyone. Andy Chow with Ohio Public-
Mike DeWine: (01:09:58)
Andy Chow: (01:09:59)
Hi. Governor, I think I have you to thank. My wife just texted me and said that she bought two new Columbus Clippers hats, so I think that was from your advertisement. I was wondering if you’ve given any thought to, in other countries who are coming out the peak and starting to reopen things, there are some countries that are actually using mobile apps to kind of help track things like that. Has Ohio given any thought to the idea of mobile apps?
Mike DeWine: (01:10:24)
Yes, we certainly have and we’re looking at any kind of technology. And the way we’re going to get out of this is through technology. And I think one of the things that you’re seeing as a direct result of this great tragedy is people are becoming more innovative and you’re seeing a lot of things that are being developed. And frankly, some of the things that are probably being developed we don’t even know about yet. John, you want to add anything to that?
Lt. Gov. John Husted: (01:10:51)
I can add. We actually had a call about that at noon today, to talk about how we’re going to align testing. So, who’s getting tested and what those test results are, either that you have COVID or that you’ve recovered from it. And then how we can help those people by tracking them, taking that data, and then allowing them perhaps to move to the front of the line as far as getting back out into society if you already have the antibodies built up, or identifying and letting them know that if you don’t have it, at the point a vaccine has developed, you would be one of the people who would be first in line to receive it.
Lt. Gov. John Husted: (01:11:33)
So, there’s a lot of benefits towards aligning your testing with your datasets and your tracking of that, and then delivering services or allowing people to reenter into the economy a little bit sooner and safer. So, that’s how that all fits together. And Dr. Acton and I and our teams at the Governor’s direction are pulling all that together and that will be part of that plan as we unveil it here in the coming days.
Andy Chow: (01:12:02)
Mike DeWine: (01:12:02)
Adrienne Robbins: (01:12:02)
Adrienne Robbins, NBC 4, and my question’s for Dr. Acton.
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:12:12)
Adrienne Robbins: (01:12:13)
Hi, Dr. Acton. Last night we were on Ohio State’s campus and there was party after party outside, people enjoying the warm weather obviously, but clearly not staying inside. You talk about the surge. Do you worry at all that we could actually see, once warm weather hits, almost a second spring break surge like we were worried about back in March? And what do you have to say to some of those students who are maybe getting a little bit restless?
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:12:39)
I know the restless feeling. I think all of us are experiencing that, and the warm weather definitely brings that out. And we have to find ways to safely get out and take advantage of this weather, and safely socialize. And I am very concerned about that. I’m ab certain that the Columbus Health Commissioner and County Health Commissioner are equally concerned, and I’m sure that’s something Ohio State is looking at. Because we know that that’s a very dangerous situation, we know that people their age are hospitalized right now. And if there is someone in that age group, again it’s… I don’t know if it’s because I hear the stories everyday of the people who are sick and dying that it makes it so much more real for me.
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:13:27)
And I hope that they pay attention and take this very, very seriously, because very young people are quite ill. There are folks in our children’s hospitals, there are teenagers and people in their 20s. I told you in the beginning, people in the 40 to 50 year old age, everyone is at-risk of this virus. You never know how your auto… This is a very inflammatory disease and our body, anyone, even a healthy person’s body reacts to this in ways that aren’t entirely predictable. It’s a very pernicious virus. It’s hard once you’re even on a ventilator to get enough oxygen in people.
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:14:06)
So, I just think that there is no one who is invincible. They need to be donning their masks. I’ve heard of people trying to do an outdoor campfire with people way across from each other. Again, people have got to think very seriously about doing this wisely. Thank you.
Adrienne Robbins: (01:14:27)
Laura Bischoff: (01:14:31)
Good afternoon, it’s Laura Bischoff, Dayton Daily News. I’m told I have the last question. This is for any of the three of you who want to take a crack at it. There’s been enormous focus on this crisis. Tell me three things that you’re worried may be falling through the cracks as your attention is diverted onto the Corona Crisis, and then three things that you’re grateful for, kind of silver linings.
Mike DeWine: (01:14:57)
Well, I think that there’s a lot of things still going on, and I’m very grateful for our teachers who are out there, who continue to teach. I’m very grateful for our first responders who go to pick up people, and not knowing whether they are positive for coronavirus. I think about all the folks who are working in hospitals and I’m thankful for them for what they do. And I could go on and on. I’ll add a fourth, those who work in nursing homes, and a fifth, those who are working in our prisons. We’re very, very thankful for all of them.
Mike DeWine: (01:15:46)
Our focus has been very, very, very much on the coronavirus, because if we get this wrong, we lose a lot of lives, our economy’s in shambles, and it’s going to be difficult for us to come back out of this. So, this is a very delicate thing to do. It takes not just Dr. Acton, Mike DeWine, John Husted. It takes a big team behind this, but ultimately it takes all of you who are out there who are watching, because you’re the ones who are determining how we’re doing it everyday.
Mike DeWine: (01:16:27)
And so, my job as I look at it, is to continue to articulate where we are and what we have to do, and to plan for the future. Part of the job of the Governor is always to plan for the future and to think down the road. So, we’ve been thinking for some time about, how do we get out of this and where do we go? We put a business group together, because we care about where we’re going to be in a year, in two years, in three years, in four years. So, those are kind of my thoughts. Dr. Acton or John, you want to-
Lt. Gov. John Husted: (01:17:05)
Well, I think we both have some things to share. First of all, I’m grateful for swift action, because we are in… The Governor led that and Ohioans followed. And when you look at comparable states that are right on our borders, you can see that the numbers in Ohio are better there than they are in a lot of the places that are around us. And I appreciate the people of Ohio who literally… I know that we heard today that there are some folks who haven’t complied and they’re maybe going to possibly cause a flare-up, but for the most part, Ohioans have been great. And we’re going to get out of this sooner and healthier as a result of them.
Lt. Gov. John Husted: (01:17:50)
I’m grateful for the innovators. I see people everyday who call, who are scrambling, who haven’t had a good night’s sleep in over a month, who are just everyday, including our staff, who’ve been working to try to make this better. And then Governor touched on all the people out there, all of the people, the nurses, everybody who’s putting themselves in a sacrifice and how we’re all pulling together to life each other up. I mean, as a team sport athlete, I love it when your team, everybody plays its role and you win because everybody did the right thing. And I see that happening across Ohio and it makes me proud to be an Ohioan.
Mike DeWine: (01:18:36)
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:18:39)
Thank you, Laura. I think the things that are falling through the cracks, good thing they delayed the tax filing. Any of those little things that are the ordinary things in life are the things you definitely let go in a war. But I’m so grateful to my team at the Ohio Department of Health, because they alongside my leadership team are fighting hard on all the public health things we always fight for, and we won’t stop. I think we’re going to emerge from this even stronger.
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:19:16)
I think that this virus, I said it a long time ago, is sort of waking us up the same way… This is a once in a 100 year experience. It’s a war. It’s that thing that changes your life. But what I am seeing in people is a tremendous resiliency. Some days things break my heart and I have disbelief, but it will be the littlest thing that someone did, in addition to the big innovations that we’ll be sharing with you, the technology and all the things that have miraculously happened, like every hospital in the whole state getting along and every first responder doing things collectively, but it really is sometimes even the little kindnesses and humor. There have been moments of humor that remind in that second that we will prevail. That our spirit will never give up in Ohio. Every day has mattered and every person has mattered, and I’ve never, ever, just like the Lieutenant Governor said, been more proud to be from Ohio. So, thank you.
Laura Bischoff: (01:20:31)
Mike DeWine: (01:20:33)
To close we have a video that highlights our #StayAtHomeOhio effort, and this features students from Gahanna Lincoln High School, Franklin County Marion L. Steele High School, also called Amber Steele High School in Lorain County, and the Olentangy Orange High School in Delaware County. So, let’s let them tell us why they’re staying at home.
Speaker 2: (01:21:03)
By staying home, I’m keeping myself safe and my family safe as well.
Speaker 3: (01:21:06)
The reason why I’m staying at home is so we can reduce the amount of people needing to go to the hospital and so our healthcare workers are not overworked, and so we can flatten the curve to reduce the amount of deaths due to the corona. And so we can get back to our normal life as quick as possible.
Speaker 4: (01:21:20)
My mom has asthma and had thyroid cancer, which puts her at higher risk of getting the coronavirus. Please stay home and keep us all safe.
Speaker 5: (01:21:27)
I am staying home so I do not risk getting other people sick, and so we can get back to normal quicker.
Speaker 6: (01:21:32)
I’m staying home, because if we take action now a better future will come much faster. And we need to protect those who are more susceptible to the virus.
Mike DeWine: (01:21:44)
That was great. We’ll see you all tomorrow at 2: 00. Thank you.