May 1, 2020
Mike DeWine Ohio Coronavirus Briefing Transcript May 1
Governor Mike DeWine held a COVID-19 press conference on May 1. He said details on restaurants, hair salons reopening are coming next week.
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Governor Mike DeWine: (00:00)
Good to be with you today. I’m wearing Xavier’s tie, down to Cincinnati. Jason Gloyd, who is my Southwest Ohio district rep, went to Xavier and I want to give a shout out to Jason’s aunt and uncle Don and Janet Hadley. They’ve both been ill. I believe they’re both in the hospital. We just want to wish you guys all the best and Jason is doing a great job for the people in the state of Ohio. I also want to give a shout out to another Xavier grad, Charlie Norman who is our registrar of motor vehicles. And I know we have a lot of other friends out there who are Xavier grads as well.
Governor Mike DeWine: (00:48)
I want to thank you everyone for all the great work everyone is doing across the state of Ohio. This has really been a time when people have truly come together. Some of you are individual volunteers such as Alan Snowden, who is our state information technology team, on our team. He’s using his own 3D printers and materials to help make parts for face shields for our medical frontline workers. There are small companies and big companies making parts, new machines producing in demand products. So many people pulling together. There’s our Ohio Manufacturing Alliance, which has coordinated 19 manufacturers coming together to partner with three hospital groups to make up to 1 million face shields to protect our first responders. This is the Ohio way. And so let’s take a look at a video now that highlights these efforts.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:59)
Wow, all those companies doing amazing things and all the people, all Ohioans who are working there and doing that, I want to thank each and every one of them. That is just great. I have to think that there are some people sad to see the first set there when hand sanitizer was being made instead of the liquor. But now’s the time to pull together and get the sanitizer. So anyway, good work Ohioans.
Governor Mike DeWine: (05:14)
So today our new order goes into effect and it’s Stay Safe, Ohio. And this is something that we have talked about. Not much new in there really that we had not already talked about here that John and I had talked about and Dr. Acton. But I do want to indicate that the name, because the name is important, Stay Safe Ohio, not a stay at home order. And so we’ve reached a new stage and I think that’s good news for everybody. It doesn’t mean the virus has gone away. It doesn’t mean we don’t have to exercise good judgment. It doesn’t mean that basic principles that we’ve been talking about don’t still apply. They very, very much still apply.
Governor Mike DeWine: (06:12)
Distance is probably the most important. Wearing some facial covering if you’re out in public is certainly good practice. Sanitation. The things that we all have been talking about, those things still very, very much apply. Every Ohioan has to make their own decision based on their medical condition, based on a lot of things, who they’re taking care of. So these are individual decisions. But there is a reason it’s no longer a stay at home order, it is a Stay Safe Ohio order. And again, we need to do those things that we need to do. The virus is, as I said still very, very much out there.
Governor Mike DeWine: (06:56)
But I want to kind of recap and talk about a few things in this order. As I said, we talked about this before. I don’t think there’s much new really in here or any huge surprises. First of all, it does have a date, an expiration date of May 29th. You should not read anything really into that because a lot of things we’re going to be doing in the month of May as we open things up in May, we’re going to talk about these in a minute. So the order itself will be superseded as we issue new orders throughout the month. You just have to put a date on it. I didn’t want to put it on the unending date. We wanted to have a date certain. But as I said, things will change, so no one should be too fixated on whatever that date is.
Governor Mike DeWine: (07:46)
A lot of things I said will happen during the month of May. We will open a number of things up in Ohio and I want to talk about how we’re doing this because the how is very important. And this is something that I have learned to do and found to be so very, very helpful for almost the last decade starting when I became attorney general of Ohio. And that is I always figured there’s people out here who know a lot more than I do and we’ve tried to bring them together. And so what we have done, and we’ll go through each one of these things that we’re going to be opening up, but in each case we brought together people who know that particular industry, know that particular business, know that particular trade, people who do this themselves.
Governor Mike DeWine: (08:45)
For example, we put together a group to look at when and how we can safely open our barbershops. We brought people together who that’s what they do. Whether it’s a small shop, big shop, we’ve brought them together and they’re starting these conversations and carrying that on. So bringing people together who understand how you run it, how you can practically run it and do things as safely, as safely as humanly possible. And that’s what our goal is in bringing all these, these folks together.
Governor Mike DeWine: (09:27)
Why is that important? Let me talk a moment about that and why do we do it that way. A couple of things are obvious. We want to keep employees safe who are working in these businesses. Number two, for those businesses that have customers that come in, we want to keep those customers safe. And the third thing is if that business is going to thrive, if people are going to come in, if customers are going to be there, people have to feel, public has to feel that every precaution is being taken, every safety measures is being taken because everybody knows that the virus is still out there. It’s not gone away. But having that public confidence is absolutely essential for businesses to be able to come back and to make it. And so the how of how we roll this out is so very, very important.
Governor Mike DeWine: (10:28)
We have to engender confidence and let people know that it is safe. It is safe, as safe as it can be made. Virus still there, but it’s as safe as it can be made to go back out and go to restaurants or whatever the case may be. So I want to go through kind of the timeline here a little bit. Today as we indicated the hospitals, dentists, veterinarians are much more fuller open. Kind of bad English, but they’re much more open and are pretty much doing what they were doing before the Coronavirus came on the scene. And so that starts today. People will have the opportunity to catch up on some things that from the medical point of view have been postponed. And again, I would emphasize some of these things have not been ever stopped, but we’ve seen a down tick. Well baby clinics, people getting checkups, those have gone down. They don’t have to go down. We would encourage people to kind of catch back up on where you need to be from a medical point of view.
Governor Mike DeWine: (11:44)
On Monday, this coming Monday, offices, industry construction, those that are not open will be allowed to open. Again, I think you’re going to see many companies with offices are going to continue to have people work from home. Again, we put a group together. This one was led by Frank Sullivan and a number of business men, women across the state of Ohio. They came up with the best practices. These best practices will now apply to any of these companies that have been open. Some were deemed essential. That designation is now gone and as everybody starts back everybody will have these same guidelines, best practices so that we can do everything we can to ensure the employees are in fact safe. So that’s Monday.
Governor Mike DeWine: (12:39)
May 12th is retail. And we’re also doing something right now. And this is in really as a result of requests by retailers who said, “Look, I got some critical days coming up. Some things are happening and this is a good time for us to make sales. So can you let us schedule appointment?” So we’re letting people schedule appointments. Retail can do that. If it’s a like a jewelry store or something like that where it would make sense to do, a furniture store, they can do that and they can do that by appointment right now. And you’ll be hearing, I’m sure in advertising from different companies about that. So that is something they can do a curbside. John talked about that I think the other day. They can do curbside if that retail business lends itself to that type of activity.
Governor Mike DeWine: (13:43)
But we also have put together a working groups to, again, the same principle taking business people, health people, putting them together and letting them come up with best practices that are actually will work. And so we have a restaurant group that I believe is having calls this weekend, John?
It started today.
Governor Mike DeWine: (14:07)
It started today. We have a hair group. We’re all ready for that I think. They are starting to work and pulling together. We miss our libraries and so we’re putting people, librarians and others to take a look at this. How could this work? Travel and tourism would be another working group being put together. Outdoor recreation, another working group that we are putting together. Again, from people who understand those industries. Youth sports, another group. Our gyms. I know many people who go to gyms, they miss their gym. Putting a working group together. Theater and arts is another one. Professional sports is another one. Childcare is another one. Obviously we’re hearing a lot about that. Working group coming together for that. Adult daycare, and there will be more.
Governor Mike DeWine: (15:09)
Now some of these will come on fairly quickly. We’re looking for restaurants, once we get the best practices up, we’ll set the date. We’re going to do the same thing for hair and set a date. And again, the goal is to take people who understand that work, put them together with other experts, come up with a way that will actually work. Best practices so when you go into that place, you know that the best practices are in fact being followed.
Governor Mike DeWine: (15:44)
My fellow Ohioans, we can do two things at once. We can do it. We can stay safe, we can protect each other, we can protect our most vulnerable and at the same time move our business back and get people back to work. Let me be real candid. To be able to do this and to continue to move forward in the way that we want to do and not have to backtrack I need your help. I don’t think it’s going to be hard. Ohioans have done an amazing job in coming together. Amazing job in as Dr. Atkins says, flattening the curve, staying home, doing things that matter. Distance the most important, wearing masks, doing other things. So we need to continue to do these things.
Governor Mike DeWine: (16:51)
We need to continue to be careful. We need to continue to look out for people who are more vulnerable, people who have a medical problem, people who are over 60, 65 years of age. And again, that is a responsibility that each one of us has as we go through this. So all the things that we have been doing. So we’re on two tracks and if we can do this, continue doing what you have been doing, we will make it and things will continue to be able to be opened up. We won’t have to backtrack. We don’t want a huge spike where we have a huge, huge problem and we have to go deal with that.
Governor Mike DeWine: (17:42)
We’re going to watch the health numbers. One of the key indicators is hospitalizations. We’re going to actually move these charts. Not today, I don’t think. But what we want you to see and what I want to see every day is maybe a 20 day or 30 day model so we can just see where things are going. We’ll keep the same other ones that you’ve been seeing, the five day, but we want to kind of get the big picture as we move as we move forward. And if we can keep those numbers down, we’re going to rock and roll. We’ll keep moving.
Governor Mike DeWine: (18:18)
I know this is tough and I don’t want to get too emotional, but Fran and I have 24 grandchildren. We have eight children. We miss being able to go see them. We have four that live close to us. We walk over there and we kind of wave through the window or stand way back but we can’t hug them. We can’t get in the car and go see some of the other ones who are a ways away. This is not easy. It’s not easy for any of us, but this is not going to last forever. Encouraging news, I’m not the doctor, I’m not going to get into how fast we’ll have a vaccine, but people are working frantically to do it. So this is not going to last forever and we have to continue to do what we need to do.
Governor Mike DeWine: (19:25)
I get it. I understand that there are some of you out there who think we’re not moving near fast enough. There’s some of you out there who think just the opposite, he’s going much too fast. We’re trying to get it right. We’re trying to do two things at once. We’re trying not to have to go back, roll the clock back, regress. We want to always continue to move forward. We brought other things into play that we didn’t have before. We’ve got the testing. We’ll talk about the testing on Monday and outline exactly how this testing and what it’s going to enable us to do and it’s a tool. No more than a tool, but a very significant tool. The tracing, these things are all important.
Governor Mike DeWine: (20:22)
What is important, and again, I would ask you all to remember, is that we are all in this together. And what each one of us does not only impacts us, our families, but in many cases total strangers, people we don’t even know. And so whether we like it or not we are in this together and our collective actions matter a great deal. And I don’t have any doubt that you understand that because I know this is what you have been doing. So we got-
Governor Mike DeWine: (21:02)
You have been doing so we got to stay together. We are one state. Look, I know some folks have suggested, well if we take this County and the numbers here in this County aren’t as bad or this is a more rural county or this. Once you start down that pathway, there’s no stopping and there’s no end to it and then all you end up doing, the county that opens back up more, there’s a rush of people from other counties. Take an urban county and then it’s got a rural county very close. People are going to roll into that rural county if it is opened up. It would be a disaster for the state. The end is in sight. The end is in sight. We see daylight. Not the end of the virus, but the ability to get back to normal.
Governor Mike DeWine: (22:03)
Now, I went through that long list. There are some things that are not going to happen as soon as others and I think you kind of know what those are. Things that we can’t control, distancing. Things were bringing large groups of people together. Let me just say something again about that. If we start doing that, it’s not good and so we’ve got to continue to stay focused, continue to stay disciplined and we can do that and start our businesses back up and get people to work.
Governor Mike DeWine: (22:41)
There is a cost. There’s a medical cost, there’s a social cost when the economy goes down as fast as this economy has gone down because the coronavirus. We know that and we also know that no matter what I do or John does or Dr. [Acton 00:22:56] or any of us all together, any of the legislature, anything that this is not going to come back quickly, but we’ve got to get businesses a chance to do that. At the same time, we’ve got to give people the chance to go out and we are on a pathway, a very good pathway and a responsible pathway to to do that.
Governor Mike DeWine: (23:25)
I know that it’s easy to get upset. People have been in their homes a long time. People have not been doing some of the things they want to do. Each one of us misses different things and I get it, but we have to stick together. We have to do, as Abraham Lincoln said and oft quoted a speech, he to the better angels of our nature, and so we have to appeal, I think each one of us, to the better nature, better angels of our nature. The better angels of our nature is what Lincoln talked about and somehow it strikes… It really strikes a chord I think for all of us.
Governor Mike DeWine: (24:21)
We’re Ohioans. We may disagree. We’ve got a pathway. Let’s keep going. Let’s do it responsibly. Let’s keep our people safe. Let’s get our businesses back open. Let’s move forward. So I again appreciate what everyone has done because people have made some real sacrifices and continue to make those. John?
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (24:50)
Thanks governor. I know that some of the things that I will say will seem somewhat redundant to what the governor said, but I have spent a lot of time talking with businesses and health officials and as many hours as I can stay awake in a day, that’s what we’re doing and we’re listening and trying to come up with a plan that balances all of these competing health and economic and just personal freedoms interests.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (25:23)
The governor started here, I’m going to start here. What was the stay at home order is now the Stay Safe Ohio order. The change in verbiage was for reason. It represents… It was intentional. It represents a transition to a next phase of how we’re going to live our lives. We know that people are starting to go out more. We know the safest place for them is at home, but when they go out under the new… Particularly under the new opportunities that are made available in the order, we want to make sure that they have the best knowledge possible and the best standards for the state to help people stay safe.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (26:10)
We recognize the reality of this transition. I know when I woke up this morning, some of the immediate questions that I had that people were asking me was, “Why May 29th?” And the governor touched on this. If we hadn’t put a date in there, then people would’ve thought it would’ve gone on forever and that’s not the intention. Don’t focus on that date because there are so many things that are going to happen between now and then. There’s so many things that we are working on that will change between now and May 29th and we’re here at the first day of May and I think we all have great aspirations for what can happen during this month and I believe it can. I believe it can. I believe we can do lots of great things to move us to where I think people will be comfortable that they’re safe, but they also will begin to enjoy both more of their economic and personal freedoms that we’ve come to know in our lives.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (27:13)
It’s worth emphasizing that in this order, most of the economy is opened up with safety standards in place. Again, creating that balance for employees and customers and really what businesses can do to actually comply. Whether that’s manufacturing, construction, distribution, research development, you go on. Essentially what’s gone is the word essential. We no longer use the words essential, non-essential. That’s gone from this conversation. We’ve moved on.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (27:47)
I know the governor touched on curbside pickup and appointment are available for retail during this transition period between now and May 12th and we know that a lot of small business owners were really saying, “Look, we can do this safely,” and we believe you can. That is a part of the transition and we are going to be working… Starting today, we’re going to start doing the calls today on the personal care side and on the restaurant side to get the best recommendations from the industry to make sure that we get the how right so that when it starts, that we know exactly what the standards should be. We’ve talked to everybody across the landscape of those industries so that we know how they can do it, that it’s practical and it will work.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (28:41)
I know the governor mentioned this, but I am going to say again, we know that there’s also other issues like daycare, sporting activities, youth programs, travel and tourism, all of these things that are right now not allowed under the order, they are currently under consideration for that how part as we move through May.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (28:59)
I just want to say this. It’s kind of on a personal note that while we know that the Safer Ohio order does have the power of law, I don’t expect that all Ohioans will do the right thing just because it says so. We have to set a standard and we want people to meet that standard. We had to set a standard for people to follow to protect the vulnerable. You may not deem yourself as vulnerable, but there are a lot of people out there who are and this is designed to protect them and it’s how we collectively get through this sooner so that we be can get onto the next phases of reopening and rolling back the restrictions. It’s incredibly important to be able to phase one correctly so that we can move on to these other issues.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (29:59)
I do want to say that I get a lot of questions about, “Well, do I need to do this and do that?” You understand what the spirit of this is about. Understand the spirit of what the order is about. It’s about our collective responsibility to one another. I don’t expect that if you forgot to wear your mask, that the health department is going to come knocking on the door to find you for it. Okay? That’s not what it’s about. It’s about setting a standard that we can all live by and get through this phase, this period so that we can move forward, but local officials…
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (30:42)
Your local health departments do need standards in place. It’s why you have to have an order so that if there are egregious violators, that they can hold them accountable. You have to have standards for those circumstances. I want to reiterate something that the governor said. He kind of issued all of us a challenge in the sense that he says that we can go faster if we keep the numbers down. If we keep the health numbers looking good, we can go faster and we will slow the spread of coronavirus. We do that. We know we will do that. We have seen it work. You have done this already. We just need to stick with this so that we can have the confidence that these other things are going to work and they are going to work if we just stick to it. We all play a role in making that happen. I do want to say that, personally, I don’t enjoy wearing a mask. I don’t. I don’t enjoy wearing a mask. I know most of you don’t want enjoy wearing a mask, but I’m going to wear a mask, not just because of the order, not just because of the order, but because there are a lot of people in my life that I care about who are vulnerable that if I got it and I pass it along to them, it could be life threatening and I consider it my personal responsibility to do so, to protect them, to not give it to somebody else who could go home and infect their loved one and cost them their lives. It is my personal responsibility to do that and I believe it’s all of our responsibility to do these things that we know protect each other and that’s what this is about.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (32:23)
Make no mistake and we understand this. We understand the uncertainty is tough. When you don’t know when the end is coming, it’s really hard to plan for it whether you’re a business or a person who’s just struggling with this. Uncertainty in some ways, it’s the hardest part, but it is our intent to do two things at once, to keep people safe and open things back up. Governor said this several occasions, we can do both. We not only can do both, we know we must do both and I believe that what we’re outlining here allows us to do that. We all have to hang in there together for a little bit longer. I know that we’re all being asked to do things that, in many cases, we don’t want to do, but I know if we do them that we will get through this faster and healthier and better and we understand our responsibility to bring that to you as soon as possible and we will work to do just that. Governor?
Governor Mike DeWine: (33:28)
Thanks John. Dr Acton.
Dr. Acton: (33:30)
Thank you. Thank you both. Good afternoon everyone. I’ll start with the numbers. Today in Ohio, we now know that we have 18,743 cases. That’s an increase of 716 since yesterday and we do know our hospitalizations are at about 3,600 and today our deaths did pass that 1000 mark. We are now at 1002 Ohioans who have lost their lives to coronavirus.
Dr. Acton: (34:07)
Next slide, Eric. Thank you. And I would say in our numbers they continue to look pretty much the same in terms of statistics, nothing new that is standing out to me today trend wise.
Dr. Acton: (34:22)
Our next slide. So as the governor said, we’ve been doing five day trends. We know that to follow this virus and its impacts, we’re going to make that a little longer so we get a better view. One of the reasons I noticed that our cases are up, but I think it might be important to kind of see where we came from. They’re slightly up. I think we need a little bit longer view. Our deaths, again had that peak but we knew a lot were reported that day, but hospitalizations are up. They are at a little over… Let’s see, today was 101 and I believe a week ago they were around 63 so when we’ve had five days, the five days have shown that hospitals have sort of stepped up a bit, but that’s plateaued for the five day period and then our ICU admissions are at about average.
Dr. Acton: (35:19)
Again, overall plateaued, a little bit up on our hospitalizations, so that would be our numbers. I want to just say I really appreciate the remarks of both the governor and the lieutenant governor. I know that this time continues to be very difficult just for the reason the lieutenant governor said. It is the uncertainty of something like this virus that makes it so incredibly difficult. We receive a lot of calls. I’ve received a lot of letters throughout this. I can’t read every single one. My staff reads them all, but I read some and I just want you to know that we listen, we hear you. If there’s a hallmark of this administration that I could tell you about is that their goal is to listen and hear every Ohioan and I think one of the things that stood out to me today was the feeling of that uncertainty. How do I plan for that thing that was going to be an August? Can’t you just tell me what that will look like? I think what we heard today is when we stick together, I feel that we are finding that sweet, sweet spot that helps propel us forward together and it’s not an easy road. It’s still asking more of us, but we are moving forward as Lieutenant governor said. He said we must in can do two things at one time and I believe more than ever today in listening to the people I have the great honor of advising lead, we will do this together and Ohioans, I believe you will do this together. We will advance as fast as possible and we will take care of one another. Thank you.
Governor Mike DeWine: (37:18)
Thanks, Dr Acton. It looks like Mr. [Adi 00:37:21] is on deck circle.
Speaker 5: (37:28)
I ask a question about shopping when we get to May 12th? Can I go shopping because I just feel like going shopping. I’ve been cooped up in my house for a very long time. I may not need anything, but I like to go shopping. That’s what the question we’re getting for people. Will I have the freedom to do it even though that may not be essential? What do you think?
Governor Mike DeWine: (37:50)
Jim, your mic was not turned off for the first part, but I think I got it, people who want to go shopping. We have that. They can today… If they want to go jewelry store, they can call and make an appointment to go do that. In 11 days from now, there’ll be able to go to any store that is open. There should be a lot of retail stores open throughout the state of Ohio. It’s coming and they will be able to do that. Again, we had the best practices and we believe that every store that will be open will be following the best practice as outlined by a group of their peers that determined these were the best practices and people will be able to be assured of the safety in regard to that, which we believe is a very good thing.
Speaker 5: (38:45)
Thank you, governor.
Jack Winsor: (38:49)
Hi, governor. Jack Windsor, WMFDTV, Mansfield. My question is for you. The new order has a long list of rules and it seems that regardless of what it’s called, the order can be mandated because we are in a state of an emergency. Governor, you’re an attorney. My question is, what direct evidence do you have, not circumstantial, but direct evidence to justify continuing in a state of an emergency and what’s the measurable criteria? Is it one death is too many? Is it 25% unemployment? Is it seniors who have lost complete physical contact with loved ones, many of them who will perish without ever seeing or touching family members again? Or is it the two week decline in hospitalizations that you talked about on national TV just a couple of days ago? So what direct evidence can you point viewers to that justifies staying in the state of emergency? Thank you.
Governor Mike DeWine: (39:41)
Well Jack, I’m sure you’re a lot better lawyer than I am. We’re in the midst of a pandemic. Dr. Acton Talked about over 1000 people dead. We’ve talked about the number of people who have been hospitalized. This is certainly a crisis, but we know that there are people hurting out there, not just because of the pandemic, but they’re hurting because of poverty, they’re hurting because they’re unemployed and that’s why we’re pushing to get us back open just as fast as we can and we’re going to continue to do that. We have to balance public safety, but at the same time we know that we want to open things up.
Governor Mike DeWine: (40:31)
If you look at the order itself, not just the title, but if you look at what’s in there, the spirit of this is really trying to make sure that people have confidence when they go out, that the business they walk into is practicing the best things that they can practice. People have a right to know that during a pandemic, a very difficult and unusual period of our time. We think with the help of a lot of people in each one of those industries that they’ve been able to help us do that.
Jim P: (41:08)
Jim [Province 00:41:10] with [inaudible 00:20:10] and this question is for Dr. Acton. As of yesterday, more people have died from coronavirus in Lucas County than any other Ohio County even though it hasn’t had the most cases overall and is just the sixth most populated county in the state. What is it that’s different about Lucas County that is causing this and should we expect this trend to continue?
Governor Mike DeWine: (41:45)
Hi, so I have seen that. I think we don’t know the answer to that yet. I do know that there have been some nursing home deaths in Lucas. We don’t know a reason that I can point to scientifically yet…
Dr. Acton: (42:03)
Don’t know a reason that I can point to scientifically yet that tells us why they have had numbers that are higher. It’s very complicated because we don’t have consistent testing across everywhere. But I think it’s something that the local health department and others, the hospitals, and there’s really a region and a zone that are looking very carefully at this. And I think over time we’ll understand more if there are regional variations. But at this point we just haven’t had widespread enough testing and a widespread enough understanding of why a place might have more than another yet. And I think in months to come, hopefully we will.
Speaker 6: (42:53)
It has been a hotspot.
Dr. Acton: (42:54)
We would really have to understand that proximity, and I think that’s one of the things, as the governor said, it’s very hard to think about ourselves in small regions because in this world, now we know we’re global, across the United States and we work across all the borders of our states. People go to hospitals across, they have family across. I have kids right across the border into Michigan myself. That’s why it’s so important that we’re careful because there really aren’t… the lines on our maps aren’t walls and so this virus is likely to spread and certainly can spread quickly across borders. But I don’t have any evidence of that yet. Thank you.
Ben Schwartz: (43:50)
Hello. Ben Schwartz with WCPO. Governor DeWine I want to ask if you know of any plans about when to reopen BMV locations? We’ve been getting a lot of calls from people who are unable to renew the driver’s licenses and thus unable to get certain jobs.
Governor Mike DeWine: (44:13)
Yeah, it’s a great question. We actually had a conversation about that just before I left to come here this morning. It is on the list of one of those things that we are trying to identify what services we can push the registrars to deliver services remotely, because as you may know, we were in the process of doing that with a lot of our online services prior to heading into this pandemic. We are going to drive the process to deliver more services online and then, like we were doing with hairdressers and other things, this is one of our internal conversations we’re having about getting that done. I will have more news for you on after I get some of those things to the governor and we go through them on Monday.
Ben Schwartz: (45:05)
Adrienne Robbins: (45:09)
Adrienne Robbins, NBC4 and my question’s for Governor DeWine. Obviously, a lot of people are scared of the unknown right now. Some states have chosen to release multiple phases of their plan, kind of giving something for people to look forward to. Why was the decision made to slowly roll out this plan instead of laying it all out for Ohioans?
Governor Mike DeWine: (45:33)
That’s a very good question and we’re trying to do a little of each. I mean we’re trying to when we know… next week we should be able to tell people in the restaurant business when they’re going to be open. Next week we should be able to tell people in the hair business when they will be able to be open. Part of it though is not knowing where this virus is going and not knowing… being able to exactly predict what’s going to happen. I think one of the things that we’ve learned about this virus is it’s not exactly predictable and we continue to learn new things every single day.
Governor Mike DeWine: (46:17)
We started with things that were, we thought, and I’ve talked about this, but we kind of on a continuum where you start with things… I mean first of all things had to stay open that were like food, et cetera. But then into this phase now, when we’re opening things up, we were doing it on a basis, starting first with where we can get people working, but at the same time have a better control of the environment so that people can control their environment and they can be safer. And as we move forward, we’re now getting ready, as I said, to look at things where people are working a lot closer, hair. Again, inherently because people are working closer, you have more risk. Now the question then is how much can you mitigate that risk? But we’re trying to go from things that are more obvious to things that become more difficult. And we’re working our way through. And as I said, the faster we can go, the better for everybody. But we’ve got to be able to continue to monitor our numbers and so we’re going to continue to do that and we’re going to give as much notice as we can to people. Some people have talked about July, August activities and it’s just, we just don’t know enough. We’re all hopeful, optimistic that we’ll be doing a lot of different things in July and August that we are not doing now. But we got to take it one step at a time. And it’s the balancing of being safe at this, but at the same time, understanding how important it is to get this economy moving.
Karin Johnson: (48:01)
Good afternoon, Governor, it’s Karin Johnson with WLWT out of Cincinnati. I know you just said come July, August, you just don’t know enough, but can you give the public at least a glimpse of where you see this summer going, such as travel? Will families be able to travel? Especially for us regionally, maybe to Kentucky, Indiana, sports festivals, anything. Just a small glimpse of where you see this going.
Governor Mike DeWine: (48:28)
I think it’s not just a question of what I see or it’s not just a question of what order we issue or don’t issue. I think people are going to have to watch where this virus situation is and they’re going to be in a position of making decisions. I mean, we can deal with some things that are big, and we’re dealing with those, where we can get best practices in place and we can do that and assure people, hey, we’re following the best practices, whatever this is that’s opening up, they’re following the best practices. But at some point, those are very much individual decisions and that people are going to have to make judgements on their own in a lot of cases. Do I get in the car? Do I take a trip? What do I do? We don’t know where we’re going to be in August. I certainly don’t. I don’t know what choices I would make for myself in August. I think it’s difficult to predict where we’re going to be at that point in time.
Governor Mike DeWine: (49:46)
We can go [inaudible 00:49:48] information we have and try to [inaudible 00:49:50].
Ben Schwartz: (49:53)
Hi there Governor. This question is for you as well as Dr. Acton. You both have some seemingly high approval ratings, Governor, yours some of the highest among governors across the country and Dr. Acton’s are pretty high as well. But it seems like she’s getting a lot more vitriol, both from the public and even some GOP legislatures who called her out basically for saying she’s not understanding the economic impact of her decision. My question is first, Dr. Acton, can you kind of respond to some of this seemingly politicized attacks on you specifically? And Governor, is it really fair for her to get all this vitriol considering you’re the decision maker?
Governor Mike DeWine: (50:31)
I’m going to start on that because the buck stops with me. I see some of the tweets. I see some of the things that people write and that’s fine. In a democracy, in a country like ours, a state like ours, people have every right to look at a state official and say, “Hey, you’re not doing a good job. I don’t like you’re doing, here’s what you should be doing.” Fair game.
Governor Mike DeWine: (50:59)
But I would remind everyone that every member of the Cabinet I appointed, and I’m responsible for every member of the Cabinet, and so for those who you know want to write something about Dr. Acton or any other member of my Cabinet come to me. I’m the responsible person. The buck stops with me. I have no problem with that at all.
Governor Mike DeWine: (51:28)
As far as popularity, my wife Fran is pretty wise about a lot of things and she’s very wise about that. And as we’re moving forward and people would say, “Hey, you’re doing a great job” and et cetera, Fran would always remind me that things will always change.
Governor Mike DeWine: (51:55)
This is not a popularity contest. That’s not what this is about. We have lives at stake. We have an economy at stake. We have jobs at stake. I literally don’t pay any attention to… people say, “You’re doing a great job,” I appreciate it. People say, “You’re doing a bad job,” I understand it. I try to listen. But ultimately, our job is to listen. Our job is to take all the input, but I’m ultimately responsible. And for those who want to say something about Dr. Acton, it’s a cheap shot. Don’t call them her orders. Call them my orders.
Governor Mike DeWine: (52:36)
We’re going to get through this and we’re going to get through it together. And there was a reason… my opening statement that I quoted Abraham Lincoln. I would just appeal to everyone. We got to come together. This is something where there are people in the state of Ohio who think I’m going much too fast, or some people think I’m going much too slow. And I understand that and I take that criticism and all the things that they say into account. I listened to them. I listened to the criticisms and I try to weigh that. But we got to get this through this together. We can. We’ll put this economy back. People are going to start working and we’re going to continue to do everything we can to protect Ohio. And so we can do it. Thank you very much for the question.
Ben Schwartz: (53:26)
Could we possibly hear from Dr. Acton to get her personal response?
Dr. Acton: (53:35)
Thank you Governor, Lieutenant Governor. And thank you for asking the question. As many of you know, I’m an ordinary person who ended up in an extraordinary time in history alongside someone I think is one of the most extraordinary leaders that this state will ever see. And we work tirelessly, as the Lieutenant Governor said, every hour of every day, making the best path forward and trying to get the best advice and best knowledge for our governor to make the decisions he does.
Dr. Acton: (54:12)
I’ve told you before that a pandemic is so much more than the virus. One of the reasons it’s a national security threat on the scale of things is because it causes global disruption, societal disruption, and it’s a silent enemy. It creates great uncertainty and when you look at these times in history, you’ll see that the pendulum is going to be… it’s going to be Rocky and it will swing a bit. It’s not unlike a war, a war on a hidden enemy. And the kind of leadership I think that it takes to help us all stay together to go above all the fray, but lead us to a safe path is a very special and unique kind of leadership. When you have a challenge this big, I think it’s dawning on all of us what this challenge is and I think I see very wise decision making to try to make the most of the uncertain times ahead and again, it’s an honor to serve. It’s an honor to serve.
Ben Schwartz: (55:15)
Thank you both.
Shane Stegmiller: (55:19)
Governor, Shane Stegmiller with Hannah News Service. Legislators in the General Assembly are starting to express more and more frustration with your administration saying you’re not listening to them enough when it comes to reopening. Some are even suggesting that they might even want to take some kind of legislative action to either rescind your Stay-Safe-Ohio order or even go further and restrict your ability to do issue them. Could you kind of respond to that please?
Governor Mike DeWine: (55:47)
Well, I think they know I’m a good listener. I read every email I get. They all have my email address and they all have my cell phone and I can tell you when I leave here, I’m sure that will be plenty of texts I will have already received and emails. And I listen to them and I listen to their concerns and I listen to concerns that they have about their particular area of the state. I’ve always said that nobody knows a district better than the legislator. And so I have great respect for all the members of the Senate, all the members of the House, of both political parties. I welcome their input. We are trying to do something that has not had to be done in 100 years in Ohio and the fact that there is criticism, I think is to fully be expected.
Governor Mike DeWine: (56:46)
We’re trying to get our economy moving again, same time protect people and we’ll have people, as I said, who think we’re going too fast, some going too slow. I understand that. The only thing I can say is that I’m calling it the best that I can. I’m going to continue to do that. I’m going to continue to consult with members of the General Assembly and talk with them and my door’s always open and my phone is always there. We’re going to continue to do that. But lives are at stake, jobs are at stake and we’re going to continue to make those decisions after consulting with the legislature.
Shane Stegmiller: (57:29)
Governor, can I ask the [inaudible 00:57:30] that?
I know the legislature isn’t in session as it relates to what we’re doing, but a lot of their advice is incorporated into the things that we do. I mean we hear from them a lot. They are doing their jobs, representing their constituencies right now, even though they may not be passing a law or a resolution. They are communicating with us. They are telling us what’s happening on the ground. I can think of numerous things. One of the things that I recall, Governor, was when we put in place the restrictions on sales of alcohol across the Pennsylvania border. That was based on what legislators told us was a problem in their respective districts. And so we react to what they’re saying.
For their constituents, they should know that the legislature is doing a great job of expressing their concerns to us. A lot of times, as the governor mentioned earlier, some of them want us to go slower and more cautiously. Some of them want us to go faster. And all of that is incorporated into the things that we do like the other voices we hear. The legislature has been very aggressive about telling us what they are interested in and we’re listening.
Governor Mike DeWine: (58:39)
And look, we welcome that. I mean I’m serious. No one knows their district better than the legislator. It gives us the opportunity to have 132 people out there who are in their district all the time and who can report back if they see a problem. I mean, so much of this never makes the news, and might not even be controversial, but I’ll get a call, “Hey, we got a problem here.” I mean, Jon’s example of people from Pennsylvania or friends from Pennsylvania coming over and into the stores. Some of that came from the legislature, some of it came from local officials. Having eyes and ears out there is certainly helpful and we always welcome that.
Shane Stegmiller: (59:24)
Thank you both.
Marty Schladen: (59:30)
Hi, Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal. This question is for Governor DeWine and Dr. Acton. I know that you said that you’re going to start unveiling testing plans on Monday, but the state is already beginning to ease restrictions today and I wanted to know how we can know we’ll be able to have enough supplies and equipment to triple testing capacity by the end of May? And also how do you plan to deploy the tests to ensure that you’ll be able to detect hotspots as they emerge and take in all the demographic and vulnerable groups across the state? And lastly, do you plan to involve community pharmacies as a part of the testing network? And if you do, how will they be compensated for this service?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:00:20)
Dr. Acton take most of that. I was on a call this morning. The testing issue, I’m probably on a call every day about the testing issue. To kind of recap, I think we’ve made some major progress last week. I want to thank again the two former governors, Governor Taft, Governor Celeste, and they continue, by the way. It wasn’t just a one off thing. They continue to work on this and be on calls and work.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:00:50)
We’re putting together, doing a couple things. One is the testing and one is the tracing and we’re very, very excited about it. We think with Ohio companies, manufacturers doing a lot of the swabs at the same time, the contract that we entered into for the reagent, which is a longterm contract, which gives us assurance of the future.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:01:14)
That’s really why as governor, I feel good about it. I feel I can see the pathway where we’re going to continue to go, and it’s not going to be a situation where we just get a bunch of tests in and then we have no clue where we’re going. That would be a very scary thing for me as governor. But having a contract with a reputable company that we know can produce this, where the FDA has approved what they do, I feel very confident about that.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:01:44)
The other challenge with this, as I think you pointed out, is we have to continue to get this out. We have to make sure it is… these tests are where they’re needed and that’s very important. Dr. Acton, you want to pick up on that?
Dr. Acton: (01:01:58)
Yeah, I’d be glad to say that those were the exact right questions and that’s a type of strategy myself and other states are having to plot and be very thoughtful about it, because as you know, we’ve only been testing the highest risk folks and getting that capacity statewide in a really egalitarian way. But still even in the beginning, even by the end of May, it will still not be all the testing we wish we had. You actually have to prioritize that. And that’s why this Monday we’re going to go a lot more into detail about that. A group’s been working, similarly to all the other groups we’ve been talking about. There’s working nonstop. I know they’re in a meeting now as we speak, because I couldn’t be on it because of this, but they’re working around the clock and it’s not just… it’s so many components to testing. It’s getting the short supplies and it’s a huge supply chain of things missing. There’s the logistics of getting it to the right places in the state. Then there’s.
Dr. Acton: (01:03:03)
… of getting it to the right places in the state. Then there’s, the deciding how to do it, and especially in these congregate or hotspot settings. Whether it’s a nursing home or a homeless shelter or any place that’s more at risk because people are close, whether it’s as you’ve seen in other states, a meat packing plant where you have to have a strategy of it being a hotspot, the strategies are very thoughtful, they’re very scientifically guided, and that group is working tirelessly to find the best solutions with, once again, all the stakeholders at the table providing input. So, we look forward to sharing that on Monday.
Speaker 7: (01:03:38)
Pharmacies being [inaudible 00:01:03:39], are they going to be… Is there a way to pay them, because the state board of pharmacy has not… Has set out guidelines but said that they don’t… They’re not laying that out? They’re not telling pharmacists [crosstalk 01:03:55].
Dr. Acton: (01:03:57)
I will check into that for you because I’m not sure if they are represented. They should be. And I think you mentioned community pharmacies, which is something I’m quite passionate about. And I think, what we’re really building toward, quite honestly, there’s another whole piece to this. Which is, our response side, which is this huge partnership at the local levels and then locals with extended regions and regions and zones, which we’ll be also explaining more about. But it really is important, in each community it’s a little bit different, who’s at the table? I know here in Columbus, we have an amazing community pharmacy, charitable pharmacies and others, and then the payer mechanism, we also have people looking into all of that and the new funding that’s coming our way from the federal government. So, stay tuned, I look forward to knowing those answers as well.
Kevin Landers: (01:04:53)
Kevin Landers, WBNS-10TV. My question is both for the governor and for Dr. Acton. The governor, in terms of your order today, we’re getting a lot of emails from people who want to know about campgrounds. When can people take their RVs to campgrounds? Is that allowable right now under your order? And for Dr. Acton, our seniors are perhaps some of the most isolated people in all of this, when do you think families will be able to reconnect with those people who are in the nursing homes, so that they’ll have that time with them? Thank you.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:05:30)
Well, I’ll start. Jon, in the order, there is a provision about a certain kind of campground.
Kevin Landers: (01:05:38)
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:05:39)
You want to take that? I know you’re looking it.
… item 13, in the order. If you look… As you go on to page, I think, it’s on page six, campgrounds including recreational camps and recreational vehicle RV parks, are closed except for those residing in recreational vehicles at campgrounds who genuinely have no other viable place of residence other than the campground, and the campground closure also excludes cabins, mobile homes and other pieces of that. But, those… So, read through that you’ll see. But really, if you have a least situation where you have a year round campsite and things like that and you have a facility there, those are allowed under this order to go back into place. That was one of the things, frankly, one of the things we heard from a lot of legislators and other things. So, you’ll see that in that provision of the order, I don’t need to read it all to you, but there are some aspects of campgrounds that are reopened in this order
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:06:37)
And the other ones will come under, our working group on outdoor recreation. And so, this is… We understand that summer is coming and that people like to get out, and so this group will be coming up with best practices. Again, we talked a little bit, I think, yesterday or the day before, people in campgrounds… [inaudible 01:07:05] and I, have camped a lot, and people in campgrounds can certainly be in their own tantra, they can be their own camper, and really not have a whole lot of contact with other people. So, it would seem to me that the social distancing is fairly easy to achieve there. So, I’m optimistic about the ability for people to be able to do that. We just got to pull this group together, have them come up with the best practices, and then announce that. And again, this is the type of thing that we want to do in the next several weeks.
Kevin Landers: (01:07:38)
… reconnecting with their loved ones who are elderly citizens, Dr. Acton, do you think… When… How long that will take?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:07:44)
Dr. Acton: (01:07:48)
Thank you. So, this has been, probably for me at least, one of the most heart wrenching parts of this pandemic. Is that, our most vulnerable are our seniors, and they’re most in need of us. And that’s another reason why I think the people who are working on the front lines of nursing homes, again, are the heroes that don’t wear capes. Because, they’re trying to be there like the health care workers and give them that love. One of the trying parts I… My dear friend, General Harris, lost a parent, my best friend Jackie, lost her father. These folks have gone through this during this time. Something that’s already a hard part of your life, made worse. And I think about them every day. I’ve heard from religious leaders who want to visit a nursing home and be there to give comfort. And one of the main reasons behind this was, the biggest spike in nursing homes occurs when people come and go from the community and introduce the virus.
Dr. Acton: (01:08:53)
And we learned early on that, even care providers who go nursing home to nursing home, were carrying the virus. And that’s what we’ve learned looking at this around the world. So that would be one of the things I most hope, once we have enough PPE, to make those visits safe. And we still have a shortage of PPE in our nursing homes, that’s why the industry has helped make these standards. Because we have to at least, protect the citizens and the workers there. And we’re all bridging that gap as best we can with technology, with coming to Windows, with the drive-bys. But I would admit to you, I think that’s… These are the things that make these times very hard, and that is the risk and why they have those special rules.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:09:42)
Hi, this is Jesse, with The Inquirer. I have a question for either the governor or lieutenant governor on unemployment. My question is, if someone doesn’t feel safe returning to work or they need to stay home with children, would they still have access to unemployment through the state or the additional money through the federal stimulus?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:10:09)
I’ll let Jon, take that.
Sure, I’ll take that question. Look, as we go through this, we know that people are going to be differently situated. You may be older, you may have children that you don’t have childcare for, you have a number of issues. And we have encouraged employers to work with their employees during this transition period. And… While, under the rules, you are required to go back to work, if… Unless there’s some health circumstance which could be [inaudible 01:10:41], and there’s also mitigating factors to these things, so it’s not a hard and fast rule. But, if your job is offered to you, you’re supposed to go back to work, there are list of exemptions for that.
But, to the spirit of, we’re all into this together, again, when we’ve talked to employers, we’ve asked them to recognize that this is a transition period. And there are going to be a number of reasons that you want to protect people who are perhaps vulnerable, people who don’t have that childcare as I mentioned, and you need to be accommodating to those folks. This is not going to be forever. We have a window here that we need to get through. And I believe that the spirit that has been shown through this, by employers, employees, that they will work through this, we have rules in place, we have exemptions in place, and we believe that they will accommodate most or all circumstances.
[inaudible 00:08:38], there’s no access.
[inaudible 01:11:43] circumstances. There are circumstances where you wouldn’t be required to go back to work, but if you don’t have a valid health excuse, then you would be required to go back to work.
Tara Morgan: (01:11:59)
Hello. This is Tara Morgan, with ABC 6. This is for the governor. Hello. I wanted to ask you about President Trump’s plans, he had indicated that he may be visiting Ohio very soon. And I was wondering if you had talked to the administration about that, and his visits… Should it be a political rally? They tend to draw large crowds, how would you reconcile that when kids can’t have graduations?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:12:24)
Well, I’d heard that the president may be coming, we welcome the president. I was not aware of anything about a rally. We’ve had some conversations with The White House about potential visits sites, but I can’t talk anymore about that. I mean, that’s got to come from The White House, so…
Luis Gil: (01:12:48)
Hello governor, this is Luis Gil, with the Ohio Latino TV. This question is about churches. The churches are anxious, they could be retail, they could be child care, they provide… Can they make some kind of rules or their own capacity? Because, they can very easily sometimes apply social distance, limited capacity, perhaps down to leave the kids at home and the adults come into church, what would you say about them at this point?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:13:23)
Well, as you know, churches do provide a lot of different things. Sometimes it’s just church service, but many times as you point out, it is daycare, it’s a number of different things that churches provide. I mean, what we have said is, the church service, we are not going to tell a church what to do or what not to do. We’re not going to issue any order, free exercise of religion as far as I’m concerned. We’ve also had a discussion, a very public discussion, about… And I’ve had private discussions as well, about how churches need to be very careful. I know some of them are thinking about starting back in, and some are talking about going back in June, and that is certainly their decision. The only thing that we request is, and it’s a request not an order, but… That they be careful, and they exercise the social distancing, do all the things that are basic to try and keep their members safe.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:14:29)
The concern I would have in a church would be for those who have, particularly, for those who have a medical problem, for those who are older. Sometimes the most faithful, it’s a generalization, but sometimes the most faithful members of the congregation are those who are older. And I would worry about them and I… Just would ask that the churches look out for them and care of them and try to tend to their spiritual needs without necessarily exposing them to a lot of people, which may be not a good thing at all for them.
Luis Gil: (01:15:05)
[inaudible 01:15:05] ready to start any… Open the doors anytime?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:15:13)
Okay. I’m sorry, I didn’t hear that. I’m sorry, I didn’t understand.
Luis Gil: (01:15:18)
Yeah. Can they start any time and apply all the rules?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:15:24)
Churches have never had to stop. Again, we have encouraged them not to have services and they’ve been very… Pastors have come up with amazing ways to continue to reach out, they’ve done it through TV, they’ve done through radio, they’ve done it through the internet, they’ve done it through zoom, all kinds of ways. And so, it’s a wonderful thing. [inaudible 01:15:53] and I, watched services last Sunday, and people from all over the country watching our friend, Father Tom, and he was having mass in Springfield, Massachusetts. So, people doing amazing things.
Luis Gil: (01:16:08)
Thank you, Governor. Hang in there.
Andy Chow: (01:16:13)
Hi, governor. Andy Chow, with Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. I wanted to talk about nursing homes and the issue of people who leave the hospital recovering from COVID-19, who are then admitted into nursing homes. Given the current state of nursing homes, would the state… Are you thinking about reconsidering that policy or addressing that issue in some way?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:16:37)
Yeah, I’m going to rely on the medical experts. I’ll refer this to Dr. Acton, but… I mean, that’s… It certainly is a concern if someone has not… Is still carrying the virus, and could be a spreader. Obviously, it would be of concern if that person went into an environment in a… Such as a nursing home. Dr Acton.
Dr. Acton: (01:17:02)
Yeah. Hi, Andy. So, next week, during the week, we will be talking a lot more about nursing homes. All along, we’ve had a sort of strike team of folks who have been really coming alongside nursing homes to deal with issues just like this. It really depends on the facility. Sometimes, a nursing home is that person’s home, and if there’s the ability to still isolate or quarantine someone in a given circumstance, that can work out, just like any of us coming home and quarantining. As you know, many of us, nursing home or not, can’t do that for various reasons. We can’t have our own bathroom in our own bedroom. And one of the things that is under discussion, both in our state and all around the country and world right now is, what kind of isolation and quarantine facilities should be made available for the mildly ill who can’t really do that?
Dr. Acton: (01:17:58)
And that’s an undertaking that I haven’t seen addressed here yet. It’s not just… We talked a lot about, stadiums or hotels or other places, for people during a surge. But, we’re realizing and we’re realizing around the world, that there might be a need for other kinds of facilities to be done, that help in situations just like you described. But, our hospitals and our nursing homes, are working collectively together on that. And the Director of Aging, Director Ursel McElroy, she had texted me during this, saying that they will be sharing a lot more just holistically about what they do. And she wanted me to also share with you that, we have something called, ombudsman, that are always available, they’re still available, they’re the people you can talk to with your questions.
Speaker 8: (01:18:50)
That was our last question.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:18:54)
[inaudible 01:18:54] week, we had a performance by a virtual choir from Tiffin University. Today we end the week with a performance by, Heidelberg University. I also now have a Heidelberg tie on, also of course, located in Tiffin. Take a listen to a virtual performance of the Heidelberg University marching band playing their fight song, Go, Fight, Win.
Heidelberg University Marching Band: (01:19:16)
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:21:05)
Heidelberg University. We’ll see you all next Monday at two o’clock, thank you.