Mar 19, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Coronavirus Briefing Transcript March 19

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RevBlogTranscriptsPress Conference TranscriptsOhio Governor Mike DeWine Coronavirus Briefing Transcript March 19

Ohio governor Mike DeWine gave a March 19 COVID-19 update to the state. Read the transcript here.

Speaker 1: (00:00)
To that. Is that something that you would take advantage of? In other words, instead of making recommendations, do you have any way to issue a directive, an order to judges to actually do these things?

Maureen O’Connor: (00:13)
Thanks for that question. You know there’s two different types of judicial systems in the 50 states that we have in our country. One is called a unified system and one is what we have here in Ohio, which is a non unified system. In the unified systems, the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice has that type of power that you just described and can issue directives, not just for emergency situations but many other situations that present themselves in the course of managing the judicial system in the state. We don’t have that in Ohio. We have Superintendents Rule 14 which is a declaration of a judicial emergency. This does not go as far as what you were suggesting that there would be a pronouncement from the Chief Justice that would be binding on all judges. At least that’s my interpretation of Rule 14 at this time.

Maureen O’Connor: (01:10)
When I mentioned that we are looking at legislation, that’s exactly what we’re looking. To create legislation that would under very, very limited and specialized circumstances such as what we are experiencing here. Should there be a need, the opportunity for the Chief Justice to make those type of orders that would be binding on the judiciary.

Speaker 1: (01:35)
Real quickly, the legislature is actually meeting next week. Are you looking at fix that quickly when you’re talking about that type of legislation?

Maureen O’Connor: (01:43)
In an ideal world, that’s the way it would happen, but we’re not in an ideal world, so we’ll see.

Speaker 1: (01:50)
Thanks.

Jake Zuckerman: (01:51)
Hi Chief Justice, this is Jake Zuckerman from the Ohio Capital Journal. I wanted to ask about your decision against any moratorium on evictions. Is it prudent to allow the eviction process to continue in this pandemic?

Maureen O’Connor: (02:01)
Would you repeat your question please?

Jake Zuckerman: (02:03)
I thought I heard you say that there was no moratorium on evictions. Could you clarify that for one and is it prudent to continue to allow the eviction process to continue in this pandemic?

Maureen O’Connor: (02:14)
That’s an interesting question. Most people think that evictions are a just for mere nonpayment of your rent or whatever the situation. But there are certain types of evictions that may be, for example, domestic violence and trying to get someone evicted from the home because they present a danger to the other members living in that home. So it’s up to the courts to deal with that and to figure out, yes, if there is an eviction that is in process or going to, they could have a moratorium on filing of evictions and foreclosures in the same way they can do that.

Maureen O’Connor: (02:52)
But then again, they have to have the flexibility that if someone needs to be removed through the eviction process because they’re domestic violence perpetrator that should be allowable on the local court’s judgment and their initiative. So, Ohio has 88 different counties, over 700 judges, over 350 courts in this state. And we are not, as I said, a unified state. But there’s a reason I think maybe for that, it’s because we have such a variety of communities and court systems and resources. So I am in favor of the solutions coming from the locals and being implemented by the local courts and local community leaders and officials of course. And as a last resort, I would resort to the contents of the legislation that I just described.

Maureen O’Connor: (03:49)
Now, different mayors in the state, that I’m aware of, have urged that evictions be stayed, that any utilities be reinstated or the process to terminate be suspended. And those are good practices, and those are practices that I definitely would urge.

Jake Zuckerman: (04:15)
Thank you.

Paul Teasley: (04:16)
Hello, Chief Justice, Paul Teasley with Hannah. I’m told I’m your last question today. Apparently Hamilton County Judge, he has asked you to issue a uniform order, uniform guidance in keeping with your power to quote, ” Do all things necessary to ensure the orderly and efficient administration of justice.” And then related to that, can you speak to any equal protection concerns for potential jurors or witnesses in different counties under varying COVID-19 orders to appear or not appear in court?

Maureen O’Connor: (04:49)
Okay. Would you repeat what the judge from Hamilton County would for what purpose?

Paul Teasley: (04:55)
Oh, based on a cleveland.com article, apparently they’re quoting him. He is asking you to issue a uniform order for all courts based on your power, “To do all things necessary to ensure the orderly and efficient administration of justice.” In other words, that would be your legal authority to do so. Now I know you’ve addressed Ohio being non uniform. I didn’t hear you address that precise phrase. I don’t know where it appears right now. And then the related question again. What equal protection concerns are there for jurors and witnesses in different counties under different COVID-19 orders?

Maureen O’Connor: (05:32)
Okay. If there was a need, if our local judges and local leadership were not addressing the issues that presented themselves, maybe I would have to take a look at intervening in some way. But that’s not the case that we have here today. As I said, there’s orders. You can take a look at them on the website and you can see for yourself the type of measures that are being taken in the individual courts and there’s many, many, many of these measures that are taken in the courts to address this. And they address all kinds of situations.

Maureen O’Connor: (06:10)
Primarily they’re concerned about jury pools, which points to your second question, and not having jury trials because of the health risks that that imposes. The fact that you may have difficulty even having jurors report. So if the court employs the appropriate statutory authority to continue cases, there’s where your authority is and that’s how those trials can be continued.

Paul Teasley: (06:43)
Yes, and as the state’s chief legal mind as it were, can you address the equal protection question between counties?

Maureen O’Connor: (06:51)
Okay, well I’m not going to address an equal protection question. First of all, there’s not one before us. And secondly, if there was, I’d have to consult with my colleagues because it would be a case in front of us. And I don’t speculate on cases either when they’re being filed or when they’re potentially. So with that, if there are no other questions, thank you very much.

Mike Dewine: (07:14)
Thanks Chief. Chief, thank you very much. I have a few points. I want to assure everyone we have talked to everybody that would know about this, that the grocery supply chain is doing well. So you don’t have to think that the food’s going to run out in the grocery store. I know people have been concerned and buying a number of items, but things are still moving forward. [inaudible 00:07:53] bakery is still going and all the transportation is still going, so everything is fine and that certainly will all be a priority as we move forward.

Mike Dewine: (08:06)
So next, let me say that the illegal internet cafes, as of right now we’re closing them and even if you think your internet cafe is legal, it’s closed as well. We receive complaints from local officials that we have people gathering there and so I just want to make that very, very clear and we are issuing an order to that effect. In all seriousness, the concern is always the same, it is number of people coming together.

Mike Dewine: (08:46)
We’ve heard concerns raised by local government officials and questions in regard to can they conduct their business remotely? This is something that the general assembly will take up next week. I would suggest that all the [inaudible 00:09:10] must get ready to do that. Obviously they need to comply and make sure that the press is notified, make sure that not only is the press notified, but they have access to watch, see what is going on. That’s important, that during this time of crisis that the public confidence remain strong. But we also know that gathering people together is not something that we would like to see. So the general assembly will address this, I believe next week.

Mike Dewine: (09:45)
Let me call everyone’s attention to a directive from the PUCO came out last week. And I think because of all the other things that have been going on, it may not have been as widely reported as possible. So I want to emphasize this again. They have issued a moratorium in regard to electric and gas disconnects, at least for the time being, that runs through May 1, I believe. I’m sure that that might be addressed in the future, but want to make that clear. I know there’s been concerns and some people have asked me about that.

Mike Dewine: (10:27)
I also have received some requests, and I know Dr. Acton will talk about this, but the requests are, what do we tell families who are thinking about going on their spring break? What do we tell people who are already in their spring break and they’re coming back from Florida? And we’ll start with those coming back and Florida or any place else.

Mike Dewine: (10:48)
We welcome you. But the most prudent thing to do, and again, Dr. Atkin will address this, but the most prudent thing to do, if you’ve been traveling, please stay in your home. Please make sure that you’re not in contact with people outside your family that lives in that home. That is certainly the most prudent thing. We have had an example yesterday of someone who very innocently came back from spring break, was in Florida and that did not end the way we wanted it to end. So we would also say that as far as anyone thinking about traveling, please reconsider that. It is a high risk proposition, and we would hope that you would not do that.

Mike Dewine: (11:39)
When I got home last night, one of the first things Fran said to me was that before I announced that people should be getting thermometers that I might want to check and see if those thermometers are available. And it is true and I’ve gotten also other calls so we know that they’re in very, very short supply. But let me try to put that in context. Really, what I was trying to say, very inartfully, was that employers that continue to work and we have essential industries that absolutely must continue, we would ask them to be extremely careful with their employees, for the benefit of the employees, the benefit of everyone. And so, doing the extra sanitation, doing all the things that you need to do. Taking temperature was one suggestion, but I know that thermometers are hard to get. But it would be a good idea, for example, ask your employees, did you take your temperature at home? For those who do have one, and ask about how well the employees are or feeling. Clean, disinfect.

Mike Dewine: (12:56)
And again, what we say all the time is just separation. Try to observe in the workplace the same separation that we’re trying to observe everywhere else. Again, it comes back to small, small decisions that each one of us makes every single day is going to determine how well we do, and whether our healthcare system actually can hold up under what is coming ahead.

Mike Dewine: (13:24)
Every day I get a rumors and I get texts and emails and calls, so let me do my daily National Guard rumor put down, the National Guard is not involved in carrying weapons. You may see them carrying groceries. They’re helping at the food bank, and so you’re going to see the Guard involved in transport. You’re going to see them involved in doing things that they can do with their equipment. When there is any change in that, if there is any change in that, we certainly will let everyone know. So again…

Mike Dewine: (14:03)
We certainly will let everyone know. So again, I want to make sure everyone understands. Again, rumors about martial law, quarantining everyone in their home, none of those are true. And again, as Governor, I think it’s important that I kind of put that down. I’ve been made aware that there are scam artists and it’s a most despicable thing. Every time there’s a crisis, every time there’s something tough that goes on after a tornado, for example, there’s always scam artists. There’s always someone trying to rip somebody off. A small number of people, many of them I’m sure they’re on the internet, they’re not even live in Ohio, we don’t know where they live. But if someone’s on the internet trying to get your personal data, do not give them your personal data. It’s the same basic rules that we have had the in the past. Now going to introduce several members of our cabinet. Let me start with Maureen Cochran. Maureen is our director of Medicaid. I picked her for her expertise in this area of long, long standing. She’s been really an incredibly compassionate, dedicated public servant for over 30 years. Focused on some of the most vulnerable populations that we have. A person who runs the Medicaid department, runs a very, very significant department. She has a nursing degree an MBA as well from Case Western. After nursing school, she moved to Cleveland and has lived in Ohio since that time, Maureen. Get my stuff out of your way Maureen.

Maureen Cochran: (16:00)
Thank you Governor. As the Governor said, my name is Maureen Cochran. I’m the director of the Ohio department of Medicaid. Medicaid is a health care program that serves about 3 million Ohioans, about 1.2 million of whom are children, and that includes more than 210,000 Ohioans who are over 65 years old. We support and care for Ohioans in all manners of health care environment and community environments, including 60,000 older Ohioans who are served in home and community based services in their home. More than 41,000 Ohioans with developmental disabilities who are served also in the community as well as more than 50,000 Ohioans who are served in Ohio’s nursing facilities. You’ve heard the Governor and Dr. Acton say in recent weeks that Dr. Acton is the doctor for Ohio. She takes care of the public health of all Ohioans.

Maureen Cochran: (17:10)
And as a nurse I feel like I share that responsibility to care for all Ohioans, even though I have a responsibility for just a small number of those Ohioans. Today the Governor is issuing an executive order that will authorize emergency rules that will expand, dramatically expand access to medical and behavioral health services using Telehealth. I want to talk to you a little bit about what that means and why that’s important. So Telehealth services includes not only fancy video capacity that we know we have in some of our wonderful healthcare facilities and practitioners, but it also includes simple things like telephone calls, landlines, face time, and the use of simple smart phones.

Maureen Cochran: (18:06)
Today we’re expanding the ability to access Medicaid services through all of those venues, so that you or the patients that you serve can be cared for or can contact you from their home. To not have to come out to your office, not have to go to the emergency room, and not have to go to the hospital because of concerns with their health. To be served by Telehealth or to be served in this manner, the individuals do not necessarily have to have an existing relationship with a doctor. They don’t have to be an established patient. So if you are an individual and you haven’t been signed up or aren’t cared for with a primary care doctor, you can do that now, and you can do it from your home and in these simple manners and be able to get the kind of consultation or reassurance that you need.

Maureen Cochran: (19:04)
We’ve, we’ve further expanded it so that there are no limitations on practitioners or sites where a patient can be consulted. It includes professional physician groups, federally qualified health centers, rural health centers, ambulatory health clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms and other say community behavioral health centers. And just to give you a sense, it’s not limited to just Physicians and advanced practice professionals, it includes certainly Physicians, Psychologists, Physician Assistants, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Licensed Independent Social Workers, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselors, other kinds of supervised practitioners, Audiologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, and practitioners who serve our children through our Medicaid school program. As well as Dietitians and other providers that we might need to designate as we go forward.

Maureen Cochran: (20:12)
The kinds of services that are, are available through this mechanism include a virtual check in with your Physician or with other of the qualified health professionals that I mentioned, remote evaluation of a recorded video or an image of something on your body that you want your practitioner to look at for example, online digital evaluation and management services, remote monitoring of physiologic parameters such as heart rate, electrocardiograph readings, things like that that your practitioner can check even again remotely and through these mechanisms, certain occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech language, and some of these other therapies. As well as medical nutrition provided by a Dietician. In addition to these physical or health care services, behavioral health is another very important component of this that the Governor and Director Chris have talked about in recent days.

Maureen Cochran: (21:17)
The department of mental health and addiction services is coordinating with us to implement a similar expanded array of services and providers throughout our community behavioral health services across the state, and that includes things like treatment, counseling, crisis services, in home behavioral therapy for children, psychosocial rehab, peer recovery, and other kinds of affiliated services. Now before I leave, I want to take us back to the basics for just a moment. Enabling this full array of services, both medical and behavioral health to be done remotely or through phone or video, is an important way for us to take pressure off of emergency rooms and hospitals while allowing Ohioans to be able to continue to receive good quality care and to not have to even leave their home to do that.

Maureen Cochran: (22:17)
We also know that there’s difficulty with access in certain remote areas of the state, and so this is a perfect time for us to be able to make new and better inroads to providing services in those areas of the state. And most importantly, it allows us to protect families and health and behavioral health practitioners from contracting or spreading the virus. Now, while these are important rules as it relates to Medicaid and community behavioral health funding, this is important to everyone. The Governor has been communicating with other insurance companies and community providers across the state, and from my conversations with them, private insurance companies are even also following in this path. They’re taking our lead and beginning to also expand Telehealth services in other ways, so it’s not just limited to our service.

Maureen Cochran: (23:16)
So it is very helpful with this covert crisis, in fact it’s a necessity, but as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. So I would offer to you today that this is not only helpful in our crisis, but it is also a way for us AND our healthcare system to leapfrog forward, to take advantage of the crisis, and begin to provide healthcare in a different way that will be satisfying and more accessible and reachable to many Ohioans. Finally, I want to thank the Ohio professional boards who worked with us, Counseling and Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapists Board, The speech and Hearing Board, The Medical Board, the PT and OT Boards, who worked to revise and look at their requirements so that all these requirements would align and practitioners would then be able to take full advantage of the flexibility.

Maureen Cochran: (24:15)
And we’re also very pleased to have the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and other federal agencies who similarly are making changes in their policies that are enabling us to do this in a much broader and widespread way. So with that, I close by simply saying that while we’re all dealing with the events associated with this crisis, it is still very important that people continue to be in touch with their primary care doctor. And this is a new way, a new opportunity both for practitioners and for consumers that we hope you’ll feel you can take advantage of.

Mike Dewine: (25:00)
Ursel McElroy is my Director of the Department of Aging, very important department. She worked for me in the Attorney General’s Office for a number of years where she ran our Elder Justice Unit. She has over 25 years of local and state experience in the Aging, as well as youth services area. And she is from the Mahoning Valley, she is from Youngstown, Ursel.

Ursel McElroy: (25:30)
Okay, thank you Governor and thank you to my [inaudible 00:25:33]. As Director of Ohio State Unit on Aging, I have the opportunity to represent 2.8 million older Ohioans in the state. And for those of you who may not be aware, we have the sixth largest older adult population within the nation. And within our department we have responsibility for many programs, policies and services that impact older Ohioans, and we’ve been focused on older adults since this Covid-19 occurrence has hit our state. In fact, we’ve been watching it, we’ve been paying attention and we’ve been really locked in, and there’s been a lot of attention on older adults because we know they are one of the very high risk populations during this time.

Ursel McElroy: (26:22)
Much of our discussion has been around our nursing facilities, but what I’d like to do is just give you a really quick snapshot of what this means, the impact of Covid-19 for older adults across the state, both within our facilities as well as within our communities. As I mentioned, nursing homes received a lot of attention first because we know that older adults are at risk and because we know that this is a congregate site. What we also know about our nursing homes is that they train for this type of situation every day. They know how to apply precautions and prevention controls, and they know how to bring calm, and they know how to face these really tough decisions.

Ursel McElroy: (27:06)
And our job throughout this time has been to listen to them and learn what we can do to help them and support them, help them in this very fast approaching and fast moving occurrence with Covid-19. In the nursing facilities we have helped by providing guidance, we’ve also moved through the continuum and we’ve limited and restricted visitation in our nursing homes in longterm care facilities. We also help by monitoring the consistency of the delivery of needed supplies of the facilities and tracking the available workforce to ensure the residents are able to get the care that they need. And we’ve also formed a special team focusing on Covid-19 and how we will respond within our nursing facilities. We also have on our continuum that we’re keeping our eyes on, our senior congregate housing settings. We have tens of thousand voter adults in congregate settings.

Ursel McElroy: (28:03)
We have tens of thousands voter adults and congregate settings. Many of them residing in our affordable housing communities. Many of them live independently, but they’re only able to do so with the help of different service providers and we are strategizing now to see how we can continue to provide services within these settings while minimizing those opportunities for congregation. Other vital services that we need to have discussion about, and for people to have full appreciation on in terms of the decisions that we have to make, are our senior centers and our adult day centers.

Ursel McElroy: (28:40)
These serve as central hubs for many people to receive support, meals, and in some cases really basic supervision. But these are also sites where people have to congregate. And so I would say to individuals that are using these sites, or families that are using these sites, we recognize the importance of them, and how they provide a very necessary service for your loved ones, but I would encourage you to begin to think of alternative ways that we can provide these services for them.

Ursel McElroy: (29:11)
Within our department, what we are doing is looking at how we can begin to transfer those meals that people get in congregate sites to now home delivered meals, and other options for people so they don’t have to concern themselves or worry that they will not have a meal. And we are also now moving at a really rapid pace of making some really important decisions on essential services. Because what we have to appreciate is as many people who typically congregate now will be at home, we now have to find a way to be able to provide those services to meet those needs in home settings.

Ursel McElroy: (29:49)
So meals, we believe that there will be an exponential need for home delivered meals. We also know that we will have needs in terms of essential services such as personal care, those services where people help individuals with basic needs such as changing them, helping them to get up, helping them to bathe when they need it, in some cases feeding individuals. And so we have to be prepared both within our facilities but also outside of our facility so that we can provide people with the very basic things that they need. And with that some of the decisions that we have to make, some of the things that we have to contemplate are the services that we can offer, but also being able to provide the support for the workforce that will be needed to provide these very critical and basic things for these families.

Ursel McElroy: (30:39)
I would like to say that as we continue to contemplate these things, as we continue to work with our sister agencies to help us through these, I think, pretty challenging times, but times that we know that we can make it through, we are very energized by the local communities, and I’m also very energized, and I think it’s important for you to know and understand that the aging network is a very sophisticated and a very well operated and mature network. And while we will be challenged to do this, we know that we are absolutely up to the task, and we will have to call upon the support of others. We will ask for support from our federal partners, our state partners and our local partners. And so if you’re wondering what can you do right now, I’m going to give you a plug on what I need from you, so that we can all get through this together.

Ursel McElroy: (31:40)
One thing, we’ve heard a lot about distancing and I heard Dr. Acton, my colleague, say the other day that it’s really important for us to talk more about physical distancing, not social distances. So call someone up, use video calling if you can, but check on your older loved ones or your neighbors. It is so critically important at this time. Ask them how they’re feeling? Are they eating? Do they have the things that they need? Offer to go to the store for them and run errands for them, if you’re able to do so. If you’re able to pick up medication for them, please do so. If you have things that can help them in terms of entertainment, I would ask you to provide them with those things. If you must visit them, if you must, certainly I would ask that we use our basic common sense. We wash our hands, we check ahead, and we make really smart decisions before we make a decision to enter into someone’s home.

Ursel McElroy: (32:44)
If you have questions, always go to the website with coronavirus.ohio.gov, and in your local communities I would also say that we have frontline support through our area agency on aging network. Every County can access one through our regional, our network of aging offices, but just know that you have a very strong network here in Ohio. You have a very dedicated network in Ohio, and we have already made great strides in being able to do business a little differently so that we can take care of the individuals both within the facilities and those also outside of the facilities. Thank you, Governor.

Dr. Acton: (33:31)
Thank you. Good afternoon everyone and thank you to my colleagues who just do amazing work every day even before this began. It’s just such an honor to work with them today. I’ll start with our numbers. As of this afternoon we do have 119 confirmed cases with an illness onset range of February 7th to March 18th. And are males and females. Females are at 43 of those cases, and 76 males. Hospitalizations are 33. And I have to say our healthcare system is very top of mind for me right now. We have 24 counties accounted for on that list, so that list is growing as well.

Dr. Acton: (34:26)
I want to thank everyone who’s heeding the urgent call by our Governor and our Lieutenant Governor, and following everything that we have asked. We know this is a difficult time, but as Dr. Collins recently said from the NIH, we are definitely on the up slope now, and it is urgent for those of you, and we all know some folks in our families or people in our communities, try to talk to each other. It is time to heed this call. You need to stay at home, if you can all stay home with your family. You need to follow the guidance that we have provided and take it seriously so that we can protect our essential workers.

Dr. Acton: (35:17)
Every day matters, and as news will be breaking over the next 24 hours, I think that will become increasingly clear. We’ve heard in the media about a childcare center, we have heard now about a nursing home. You’re seeing what is that community spread on the upward sweep. So every day and every one of us matters. I know it’s a lag time for each of us in understanding this, and it’s kind of a two steps forward one step back, and it happens even amongst our own team, that getting your head around this as hard. Each of us hears it a different time.

Dr. Acton: (35:59)
Director [inaudible 00:35:59] shared with me her son Darion, who is 26 like one of my sons, and didn’t matter what she said, but then Kevin Durant is ill and then all of a sudden the light bulb went off. It’s for real. You get real when that moment happens, if something jars it for you, but you go two steps forward, and then you’re like me driving to work going, “This isn’t real, but where are all the cars?” And it just goes like this. I don’t care if you’re leaders, whether you’re mayors, whether we’re citizens, we all get this and we kind of get it, and then we forget. And I’m asking folks to really heed the message now because time is of the essence.

Dr. Acton: (36:43)
Spring break, that’s a question many have asked about, come home, for those of you who have been out, young people take this seriously. As Dr. Burke told us at the presidential address today, young people are turning out, all from the data we have, to be equally affected and hospitalized in large amounts in Europe. The United States, over 38% of hospitalizations are now under the age of 55, our average age of onset, so that skewed from our two year old to our 91 year old is 49 years, and young people are getting ill. So you have to take this seriously, and you have to help us not spread this virus.

Dr. Acton: (37:27)
For the rest of us, there are a couple other things I want you to think about. First of all, there is a lot of misinformation out there. It’s vital that you go to our website and use trusted sources of information. Coronavirus.ohio.gov. There are a lot of scams out there, the attorney general mentioned them today. So please pay attention to that and never give your information.

Dr. Acton: (37:53)
Stigma is something that is also on my mind. It’s been on my mind since the beginning. Remember that this virus began as a zoonotic disease, going from animal to human in China. That can happen anywhere. Viruses do not discriminate. They love us all equally, and we have to really think about this. I’ve heard of things being said that are just not true and we all have to take the seriously, to not spread that misinformation, but also I don’t want people to feel the stigma of getting help. We now know the unemployment numbers, our Lieutenant governor, we’ll talk more and more about this in the days to come, and all that we are doing for vulnerable populations like the homeless and others, but also for all of us.

Dr. Acton: (38:40)
Matt Habash, of the Mid Ohio Food Collective, said on a show last night, he’s been in this field forever, we cannot, just like Pearl Harbor or post any war, we cannot feel badly if we need help right now there is help. Our philanthropies, our nonprofits are coming to the table. They are doing this, but all of us should not feel any sense of shame of getting a little help or helping each other out as neighbors.

Dr. Acton: (39:07)
There are everyday heroes everywhere. We know that not all heroes wear capes. You’re going to hear more stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. One of the things that you can do now is donate blood. If you are healthy, you can go to redcrossblood.org, we’ll have that on a coronavirus website, redcrossblood.org, or sometimes if it’s not Red Cross in your community, it’s your local blood center. That blood will be needed. You don’t go when you’re sick. Viruses aren’t transmitted that way. So we will need the blood supply, and that’s something else folks can do.

Dr. Acton: (39:48)
We need to have some grace with this. I constantly say that we’re going to get this 80% right. This is a moving train that’s moving very quickly. We cannot linger on things like do we have enough tests or don’t we, at this point is the time for action and I need everyone to focus on following what the Governor says and staying home and taking these actions as we go up on this curve. Asking for grace, even me, I know people are saying, I’m so nice. I have a little fierceness in me. We should just admit it. I even lose my temper, as my kids and family will tell you, when pushed far enough, and we’re all asking for grace with each other in this time.

Dr. Acton: (40:29)
We have got to keep planting that flag. My job is to keep pushing us forward, and I’m putting that stake in the ground and we’re moving us forward and we’re all kind of lagging and it’s going to be a little messy. We’re inventing systems that never existed before. As we go, we’re inventing solutions, we’re inventing new swab techniques. We’re going to keep inventing in Ohio, and we’re going to keep moving that flag forward, and the rest of us will follow as best we can, but now is the time to heed. Put that flag out everyone, I thought that was the most wonderful suggestion by Fran DeWine, our first lady. I asked my husband to put ours out, and it’ll be a little symbol to all of us of what we’re doing. Thank you.

Ursel McElroy: (41:11)
Yeah, thank you Governor. Dr Acton, another great job. As we were discussing yesterday, we always think of ways to explain things, and said, “If you love someone, step away.”

Dr. Acton: (41:27)
But we’re not going to sing it.

Ursel McElroy: (41:30)
Yeah, we’re not going to sing it. Governor asked me to sit in on a call with the President and Vice President, and some of the nation’s governors and Lieutenant governors. As we were getting a briefing, they did commit that they are working with the private sector, and with some federal regulations being rolled back, a new supply of masks, tests, and ventilators. So they’re working hard.

Jon Husted: (42:03)
… tests and ventilators, so they’re working hard to get those things. Although, reiterating what Dr. Acton said, let’s don’t get caught up on the test piece. Let’s focus on getting healthy and getting treatment and all of the things that she has been asking of us.

Jon Husted: (42:21)
One update, Ohio did apply with the U.S. Small Business Administration for a request to allow small businesses and not-for-profits in Ohio to apply for low-interest long-term loans of up to $2 million through the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. That request has been approved. It has been approved.

Jon Husted: (42:50)
The loans may be used by Ohio small businesses and not-for-profits to pay for fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid for due to the disaster impact. Loan applications can be completed online at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela, or by calling 1-800-659-2955. They urge that you use, though, the online portal, as that will help the process move more quickly.

Jon Husted: (43:47)
I know that the congressional delegation and the U.S. Senate passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act last night. The president signed it. Senator Portman forwarded a couple of highlights that he wanted to make sure that people know, that it will include free coronavirus testing for those who are ill, improves access to paid sick leave and paid family leave, provides additional food assistance to those who need it, enhances unemployment insurance. I know Maureen Corcoran is very pleased about one piece in there that we asked for in our letter to the president, for a better federal share of FMAP funding, which will help us cope with the added costs of committing our vital services to the coronavirus pandemic. Also included in this was the approval of the SNAP waivers that we requested for food assistance.

Jon Husted: (44:50)
Additionally, on unemployment, remember unemployment.ohio.gov is the place that you can apply. We have had through Monday… Since Monday, we’ve had an additional 111,000 claims through Wednesday. I’m happy to report, while other states’ systems have crashed, I want to commend our tech team and our folks at ODJFS for running a system where that has not happened in Ohio. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that it doesn’t, but that’s incredibly important. I know on occasion there have been some dropped calls. The system is pretty overwhelmed, but appreciate everybody’s effort there.

Jon Husted: (45:36)
I know that the governor touched on this earlier about the supply chain. I was in discussions with grocery stores this morning. They wanted to emphasize that the supply chain is intact. They are producing just as much bread and rice and everything as they always have, in some cases, even more of the things that people want, but because of the excess demand, that’s why you don’t see it on the shelves. It’s not that the supply chain has been disrupted in any way. It’s that they can only go so fast. And if we crowd the stores, then we create the problem for everybody else.

Jon Husted: (46:19)
We do want to emphasize something about all the businesses that are open. Most of the businesses that are open, frankly, are open because they need to be. We ask every business that is open to care about your employees. You have to care about them. They are a vital link to the supply chain. They’re a vital link to the services that people are counting on. Do everything that you can to make that workplace as healthy as you can possibly make it.

Jon Husted: (46:46)
To that critical workforce, the people that are working in our grocery stores and doing the things, thank you. You are part of the hero story of this. You are doing things that the rest of society counts on. For the entire workforce out there who is doing what we need to get through a difficult time, we thank you.

Jon Husted: (47:07)
To the public, please respect them. We’re all going through a difficult time, but these workers at the grocery stores, at the drugstores, at the places that you might frequent out of need, give them personal space. Give them their six feet. Help make sure that you’re protecting them and you’re protecting yourself. This is super important that we do this. We’re all in this together. As we say time and time again, as we’re out there as citizens, please make sure you’re doing that.

Jon Husted: (47:39)
I was on a call today with several of the CEOs of the banks across the state. They asked me to emphasize to you, stay calm. The banking system is well. Your banks and credit unions are going to be there for you. They said that you can count on them. They are part of the critical infrastructure that we know we have to keep in place. Some of these banks, credit unions, and lenders have already started voluntary programs on deferrals for cars, mortgages, credit cards. Call them. Ask them if they have something like this available for you if you’re in need. They recognize that they have a responsibility in the system, and they are all taking it very seriously. On elections, Secretary LaRose asked me to emphasize this. The solution that he is seeking is not a new election. He is seeking to just merely extend the voting period, out of a matter of safety and health benefit to the population, to June the 2nd. That means if you already absentee voted or you voted early, you’re not going to need to do it again. This is about extending that opportunity to the people who have not had that chance yet. We know that the courts and the legislature are going to work with Senator LaRose to make sure that that happens.

Jon Husted: (49:09)
For employers on job training, we have at workforce.ohio.gov a list of a variety of ways that you can upskill during this time. When we come out of this, the digital economy will be even more powerful than it is now, and having tech skills are going to be really, really important. This is a time to upskill yourself, to use those for employers, use them for citizens. These services are available at workforce.ohio.gov. I know on the @LtGovHusted Twitter site and @GovMikeDeWine Twitter site, we’re going to put all those links up there for you, so you can check that, but it’s at workforce.ohio.gov. Another thing, I have received some calls over the past few days and says, “Well, what about this? What about that? When are you going to give us a heads-up that this is coming?” You get the heads-up when we know it’s coming when the guy standing behind me tells you. He tells you as soon as we know. This is a process that’s as transparent and open as we can possibly make it. Governor DeWine doesn’t make a decision and then wait a day to tell you. As soon as he knows what we’re doing and he’s gotten what he needs from his team, he tells you, so know that you are getting the information as quickly as we can get it to you.

Jon Husted: (50:47)
Appreciate the great work, like I said, that the people out there in the workforce are doing to help keep our businesses and our vital services alive. Everybody stay safe, and we will carry on. Thank you.

Mike Dewine: (50:59)
Just to follow up with Jon before we get-

Speaker 2: (54:00)
As more mobile COVID-19 testing sites pop up in parking lots across the country, the White House announced a malaria drug called chloroquine is showing promising results.

Donald Trump: (54:11)
It’s shown very, very encouraging early results, and we’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately.

Speaker 2: (54:24)
A potential breakthrough. But the FDA later clarified that chloroquine was not yet approved for the treatment of COVID-19. That news comes as a new CDC report reveals, unlike early reports, a surprising number of younger people are vulnerable and require inpatient care for the coronavirus.

Speaker 3: (54:43)
Take a look at these numbers. These are amongst young people. 29% of U.S. cases in the 20-to-44-year-old age group, 20% of hospitalizations in this age group, and 12% of ICU admissions in this younger age group. This message-