Mar 24, 2020
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Coronavirus Briefing Transript March 24: “We Save Our Economy by First Saving Lives”
Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio gave a news briefing on COVID-19 on March 24, 2020. He expressed interest in saving lives and restricting gatherings, rather than saving the economy and lifting restrictions early. Read the full transcript of his speech here.
Jim Tressel: (00:00)
JT Barrett: (00:00)
Hi, this is JT Barrett, here.
Gene Smith: (00:02)
Gene Smith, your athletic director at the Ohio State University.
Matt Brown: (00:06)
Matt Brown, here professional UFC fighter.
Cam Atkinson: (00:08)
Cam Atkinson here from the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Chris Spielman: (00:10)
What’s up team Ohio? How are you? This is Chris Spielman.
Anthony Grant/ Chris: (00:13)
This is Anthony Grant head basketball coach at the University of Dayton and my wife, Chris.
Jenni Bauer: (00:17)
Hey everyone, I’m Jeni Britton Bauer, the founder of Jenny’s Splendid Ice Creams and I’m here on official business.
C. Jones: (00:22)
Just a few tips and reminders to help avoid the spread of COVID-19.
Jim Tressel: (00:26)
We want to be staying at home as much as we possibly can. Keeping that social distance.
Cam Atkinson: (00:30)
My family has been tucked away at home since the NHL announced the suspension of our season. We’re trying to do what our public officials have asked of us, to keep not only ourselves, but our fellow Ohioan’s safe.
Chris Spielman: (00:39)
And we’re in a fight and one thing I know about Buckeye State, when we get in a fight, we fight back and we win.
Gene Smith: (00:45)
When you cough, cover your cough, make sure you don’t cough on others. Make sure you wash your hands for minimum of 20 seconds. A new practice that I think will be with us as we move forward past this issue. Make sure that you do everything that you can to protect the vulnerable.
Anthony Grant/ Chris: (01:02)
We encourage you to engage in physical and mental activities like exercising, going for walks in your neighborhood, reading or simply engaging in fun family activities within the confines of your home.
Jenni Bauer: (01:14)
It’s critical that we all understand the importance of flattening the infection rate curve of this virus to prevent overwhelming our healthcare system and save lives. It’s going to take all of us.
Chris Spielman: (01:28)
Because together we stand, divided you will fall. But in unity there’s great strength and in this country and in this state we have unity and great strength. God bless.
Mike DeWine: (01:49)
Well thank all of our participants today and all the people who are out there creating their own videos. I’ve seen some and they’re just great. Thank you everybody for getting in the spirit and for conveying that message every single day.
Mike DeWine: (02:08)
I received an email from a friend of mine yesterday and maybe I can clarify something. He said, “Mike, I go to the cemetery and visit my wife’s grave almost every day.” He says, “I’m concerned that people think that they can’t go to the cemetery.” So certainly people can do that. We can do that. Usually hardly anybody there. You can certainly keep the social distancing, you can do things like that. Those things that you’re doing every day. You don’t have to stop doing that. So, I just thought I would mention that my friend contacted me and basically said, hey, tell everybody that that’s okay.
Mike DeWine: (02:58)
You know, as we have watched what’s happened in other places, we watch what’s happened in other countries in Europe. We’ve watched Italy, we’ve watched them at different stages, now we certainly are looking at New York and other states and we’re seeing how they deal with it. We’re seeing how they’ve prepared for this and I think it’s important for us to again, recall what our goal is and how we achieve the goal. And one of the very specific goals when we talk about flattening that curve, what we really mean is to do the things that we have to do so that our healthcare system is not overwhelmed and that our healthcare system can take care of people who come down with this virus who need to be hospitalized. Again, as as Dr. Acton has said, most people will not need to be hospitalized, but some will.
Mike DeWine: (03:54)
We know that being able to take care of them, being able to take care of people who have a heart attack, stroke, any other medical emergency. And so that’s very, very important and we’re doing this really in two ways. We talked about a moment ago and the videos the social distancing, that’s things that each and every one of us can do every single day. And we’ll keep talking about that because we know it is so very, very important in what we do today is going to impact where we are and in the next few weeks as we go forward.
Mike DeWine: (04:28)
The other thing that we have to do, and we’re doing these simultaneously, there’s not exclusive. We’ve got to do both of them, but the other thing that we’re doing is really working on capacity and this is something the Dr. Acton that Lieutenant Governor Huston, myself and all our team and all the team across this state are working on every single day. And so I thought I’d just share with you all a little bit of what we are doing and how we are approaching that and it is certainly a work in progress, but it’s important for us to get the capacity up. We’re talking about capacity with beds, capacity to make sure that everyone, doctors and other first responders have the personal protection equipment that they need.
Mike DeWine: (05:26)
Maybe talk about beds. We’re working each day with the hospitals throughout the state of Ohio and analyzing what those needs are, getting ready, trying to see what we need where, and again, this is something that has been worked on for a number of days, but I just wanted to mention it today to tell you we’re working on this. What we have done and Dr. Acton indicated this a few days ago, we’ve taken a lot of her health team and we’ve merged them in to what’s called the EOC.
Mike DeWine: (06:03)
The EOC is the the emergency operations center. It’s existed for a number of years and as some great people who are out there doing great work, it exists in case of any kind of emergency, it might be a flood along the Ohio River, might be tornado, might be any kind of emergency that we have. So what’s happened is Dr. Acton’s medical team, health team is kind of merged in there. Some of our team is merged in there and each day I’m able as I did this morning to talk directly to them and get an update as far as how things are going. So they worked with Ohio hospitals and medical experts every single day. They work on logistics, they work on moving stuff.
Mike DeWine: (06:54)
And that’s a work in progress. Part of this is what’s called modeling. You’ve heard Dr. Acton talk about modeling. We are in the process of modeling. Ohio health department, Ohio State University, the Ohio Hospital Association have all gone together. As we say, we are in this all together. They’ve gone together to form this modeling team and they’re working hard on that every day. Cleveland Clinic also has a separate modeling team. They’re comparing notes working together. It was my pleasure this morning to be on the phone with the Cleveland Clinic CEO for probably 45 minutes just to see how everything is going and things are being pushed together. Innovate Ohio, that’s headed up by John Huston. We’re bringing people in from the private sector to come in and help us with this modeling. Help us with all the logistics to help us with the planning as we get ready for what we know is coming.
Mike DeWine: (07:57)
And again, we know what’s coming because we’ve tracked what’s happened in other states. We’ve tracked what’s happened in other countries and our goal every single day is to prepare for that. And we do it as I said in two ways. Number one, we do it the social distancing and second parallel track. We’re also doing it by getting ready, physically getting ready for this. Let me talk for a moment and about the personal protective equipment, PPE. This is a term that you’ve heard a lot in the last few weeks. Dr. Acton, will talk a little bit more about it, but this is one of the things that we’re focused on. Our team is focused on every single day. Personal protective equipment. What is that? Well, it’s gloves. It might be mask, gowns, face shields, goggles, and they’re needed by our first responders. They’re needed by medical personnel and I know and talking to first responders around the state, they fully understand that and our commitment is to do everything we can to get them the gear that they need in a timely manner.
Mike DeWine: (09:17)
Just to give you some perspective, over a 24 hour period, on average, 36 pairs of gloves are used to care for one patient who’s in intensive care. This is why we have ordered non-essential or elective surgeries. We’ve ordered elective surgeries to be postponed and we’re seeing that happen across the state. We’ve asked dentist, we’ve asked veterinarians to conserve their supplies and again, not do the surgeries unless those are absolutely necessary. This is why we’re asking private business to help us in regard to this and we’re asking them in a number of different ways. We’re asking them, some of them to give us some of that equipment that they have conserve it. We’re also asking a number of these companies to be involved in either procuring it or actually making some of this equipment and again, all this is a work in progress and I just want to thank everyone out there. There’s so many of you who are working on this and this is something again that is certainly very, very important for all of us.
Mike DeWine: (10:40)
Let me talk for a moment about our economy and where we’re going because that certainly is on everyone’s mind. And let me just say that every single day I think about those of you who are unemployed. I think about the small businesses. I know from a family background in being a small businesses, I know that each day that goes by that you don’t have income each day that goes by, that you can’t move forward is just very, very, very tough. And I fully understand that. What we’ve done, as we’ve said, to protect lives, but I want to talk a little bit about how we come back. I want to talk a little bit about our economy. I was asked this morning as well as last night, if I had any reaction to some of the President’s statements yesterday. Let me say, I think that the President and I are aligned.
Mike DeWine: (11:58)
We want to get this over with as fast as we can. We want to get people back to work. The frustration that he has, I share that frustration and each day that we can’t move forward in that regard is a very, very frustrating thing. So I think we’re all in this together and I think we all have really the same feelings about this. The truth is, that protecting people and protecting the economy are not mutually exclusive. In fact, one depends upon the other. The fact is that we save our economy by first saving lives, and we have.
Mike DeWine: (13:03)
By first saving lives, and we have to do it, and we have to do it in that order. If our hospitals are overwhelmed, if thousands of our fellow Ohioans do not get the care that they need, if many of our nurses and doctors get sick, and don’t get the care that they need, if they die, because we do not have the facilities to protect them, that’s a personal tragedy for them. It’s a tragedy for all of us. It’s also not helpful at all as we look to how we rebuild this economy as we move forward. That would be truly, truly destructive of our economy. So, these two things are tied together and we’ve got to get them right, and we’ve got to do it, and we’ve got to do it in the right order.
Mike DeWine: (14:09)
Let me also say that when people are dying, when people don’t feel safe, this economy is not going to come back. So, we have to flatten that curve, we have to do everything we can to separate ourselves from others. We have to do everything we can so that when this wave comes, and we know it’s coming, it’s not as big as it would have been, and that we’re prepared for it. And so, those are the things that we really must do. If we’re going to get our economy back, and look, I see it, I drive around, I see what’s going on or what’s not going on. But we’ve got to do this, and we’ve got to get through this, and we’ve got to get through it, we’ve got to protect as many lives as we can. And then, we got to get ready to move forward. So, I’m anxious for that day, that day is not yet here. Let me now turn to Dr. [Acton 00:15:21] for a few comments, and then to John [Houston 00:02:23], then we’ll be ready for questions.
Dr. Acton: (15:29)
Hi, everyone. Good afternoon. I just want to take a moment to say a special thanks out to our entire team. My team at the Ohio Department of Health, they’ve been working tirelessly since probably early in January on this response, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. A special shout out to my communications team out at the Emergency Operating Center, I appreciate all that you’re doing. What I just saw and the governor’s team put together, out in this amazing commercial that’s going out, it just really warms my heart and I know it does yours. So, you’re just doing an outstanding job. And the governor has really created an incredible team of people to help us through this response. So, it’s of course an honor to work for him and our lieutenant governor.
Dr. Acton: (16:20)
And I just want to share with you, I feel like my role combing through this is being, keeping you understanding the science behind this and sharing the numbers as we have them. So, let me share that we do have 564 confirmed cases. Again, my caveat, this is the tip of the iceberg. This is still behind, a little bit lagging in time from getting test results, as well as our still ramping up testing capability. But we do know for certain that we have at least 564 cases in Ohio, and now those are in 49 counties. We have age range of less than one years of age to 95 years of age, and I’m very sad to say that we now have eight deaths in Ohio.
Dr. Acton: (17:10)
We have some new statistics I’ll share, 145 hospitalizations in this. Of those cases, 62 in the ICU, 25 of which are from longterm care facilities. As we’ve seen in other states, nursing homes, longterm care, particularly are hard hit. And again, I just think we have an amazing team supporting those out on the front lines, but it really is those folks helping the people we love that are doing just such an amazing, amazing job right now. I do believe we have some data to share with you. This is the beginning. Those of you who ever had me as a professor of Global Public Health will know that I’m a big fan of Hans Rosling, a great Ted talk, one of the greatest statisticians. And we have teams of experts of scientists from multiple universities, and we’re working around the world with other folks doing modeling, some really great tech people. InnovateOhio, as was mentioned, folks from universities all over this country. But we’re learning some basic things.
Dr. Acton: (18:19)
So, I’m going to start with basics today and we’ll fill this out in the days to come. But some of our graphs will be on our website coronavirus.ohio.gov. But what you can see is sort of a cases by county representation. Obviously, this is very, I want everyone to understand that cases are impacted by … if we could go back on that slide for a second … this is still by where we had testing the most quickly, so it doesn’t give maybe the fairest representation of what’s happening. For instance, in southeast Ohio, some of that’s lagging. But you can see that, also our daily increase in cases that has been going on.
Dr. Acton: (19:09)
Next slide. We’re going to start following for you a little bit, we are seeing some trends here, and first of all, confirmed cases in healthcare workers, of course, everything we’re all doing is to protect those on the frontline. We do know of our cases, 16 percent have come from the healthcare sector. Our hospitalizations of our cases right now is about 25.7 percent. I’ve said all along that about 80 percent of us will be able to ride this out as an outpatient, but we’re seeing a little bit higher number of hospitalizations of our cases. And I think we’re going to see that trend around the country. And then, of course 11 percent of our cases have needed the ICU. And the ICU, folks, is our focus through this. It’s all about the capacity of our hospitals to treat the sickest. So, those numbers we will follow in days to come.
Dr. Acton: (20:06)
Next slide, please. This is since the day back in March, 8th I believe, when we recorded our very first case in Ohio. We’ve been watching our trending lines, and what this graph is saying is what we’ve been saying all along, it’s expected in countries around the world that we will be following, more of what we’ve seen in Italy, that is certainly the case in Ohio as in every other state. And we’re also following, you can’t see very well on this, I think, but New York, the latest science, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel from the University of Pennsylvania did a great op-ed in the New York Times, that what we can really expect is that we’re on a 7 to 14 day lag behind New York City, so the rest of us in the country can sort of see what’s happening in the places where they had their peaks and they’re testing a little sooner. Again, we know we’re very close by, but we’re lagging in that testing ability due to supplies.
Dr. Acton: (21:08)
Next slide. Again guys, it’s all about the curve. And so, we’re doing our very best to keep everything we’re doing with our measures and our policy is helping minimize the impact on our hospital system. And we are definitely up the steep slope, but what’s most important is to start talking, next slide, about our hospital capability. Next please. Ohio’s response is really around two major areas. One is decreasing the spread, and two, as the governor just said much better than I can, the increasing our capacity through our emergency operations. So, the stay-at-home is still everything that you can do at home, it makes a tremendous difference. And I promise you, Ohio, when we look back at what you have done, you as citizens have done, it is going to have made all the difference for us. We’re doing policies to relieve the healthcare system burdens, and that was our trying to get rid of elective surgeries, getting our equipment from out in the field in. We’re doing amazing things, converting anesthesia machines to ventilators. We’re doing all sorts of things to increase that system, but you should know we will be having to build additional beds, just like you’re seeing in places like New York.
Dr. Acton: (22:23)
And then, finally, this conserving PPE, next slide. Bed availability in Ohio hospitals, I’ll have a lot more on this days to come, but one, couple numbers that I want us to start out with, we are at about 60 percent capacity in our hospitals after our elective surgery’s stopping, we’re about 60 percent. Our ICU beds in total in Ohio are around, I believe that says 36 hundred. The bottom line that we’re learning now is it’s all about ICU bed capacity. What you’re going to see, and we’re doing a lot of what we are seeing being done in Maryland, we’re trying to keep people that can be routinely cared for, even that needed hospitalized in lesser care settings, and turning our hospitals into basically expanded ICU capability. On average, we’re needing our hospitals to increase that capacity by 50 percent, and our hospitals are hard at work doing that.
Dr. Acton: (23:27)
And we will be looking at things, you’ll hear more in the news in the days to come about hotels and even dorm rooms being turned into hospital units. So, that is something we’re having to do in Ohio, much like you’re seeing happening in New York right now. Fortunately, we have a few more days to get that up and running and we’re learning from what’s being done around the world and in New York.
Dr. Acton: (23:51)
And then finally, last slide. We did distribute that almost all of the PPE we have received has been put out in the field. Remember, PPE is personal protective equipment. That’s what the governor talked so eloquently about, the gloves, the shields. There is a limited supply, that is the truth. And we have deployed that based in the need around counties, and you can see that by this graph.
Dr. Acton: (24:17)
If you go to the next slide, please. Is that the last slide? we also have on our website what that entailed, what actual amounts of PPE. I think we have to realize that when we deploy PPE, we’re doing it in boxes and cases, not truckloads. But the good news is that we have some really amazing researchers working on ways to reuse PPE, both here at [inaudible 00:24:45] in Ohio, and also at the University of Nebraska, they’re looking at UV light. So, there are new guidelines coming out every day, every hour, of how we can extend the use of that PPE.
Dr. Acton: (24:56)
But I want to say to you again at home, what you’re doing by stopping the spread is absolutely taking the pressure off our healthcare system, saving it for those of us who need it, the unexpected emergencies that we routinely have, and most importantly for the cases that we know to come. We know that at some point soon, in a worst case scenario, had we done nothing in Ohio, and we’re doing everything the science has said to do in Ohio. But they’re anticipating that there could be up to 6,000 new cases a day if we aren’t all abiding by these things we’re doing. And if you had 6,000 new cases a day, clearly that would quickly outpace our hospital capability. And that’s why every move you’re doing is making all the difference. So, thank you. Thank you for following the governor’s sage guidance. Honestly, I couldn’t explain our situation better than he is explaining it today. So, please continue to follow his guidance and his lead. Thank you.
Mike DeWine: (25:57)
John Houston: (25:59)
Well, thank you governor and Dr. Acton. I would-
Mike DeWine: (26:03)
John Houston: (26:03)
Thank you, Governor and Dr. Acton. I was thinking as we were getting ready to start today, I was talking with the Governor. What we do is that every day we tell you what we know. Then we finish up and we leave here and we collect a whole new set of information, the latest information that we can get from our experts and from really from people across Ohio. We use this as an opportunity to try to address the issues that people bring us.
John Houston: (26:34)
One of the issues that certainly has arisen over the last couple of days after the stay-at-home order was issued, is the definition of an essential business. We spoke with mayors and business owners and business associations over the course of the last 24 hours. I want to put a little more guidance for you and really definitive guidance that we hope you will follow as we all in Ohio I know are trying to comply with the stay-at-home order and the essential business list. We want to give you the best possible guidance we can to help you come to the conclusions that you need to come to.
John Houston: (27:12)
First of all, coronavirus.ohio.gov, that’s where the director stay-at-home order is located. You can go there and look at it. That site has already had 1.3 million hits today. At the moment that we announced this on Sunday, in one minute it had over 1 million hits. We’re glad that you’re using it. We know at times it gets overwhelmed, but our systems have been working very well today at that website. Read the order and then the attached Homeland Security directives or guidance that’s included with that order. It’s written in plain language. We ask you to just follow the language and use your good judgment on interpreting what the intent is of the order.
John Houston: (28:05)
Please don’t call law enforcement. Don’t call the local health department asking them to interpret it for you. We were talking to mayors today and they said, “Look, that overwhelms our health department. That overwhelms law enforcement. It’s not their job to interpret it for you. It’s their job to enforce the order. It’s not their jobs to interpret it for you. If you overwhelm them, then they can’t do their jobs. They can’t take the thousands of calls that are interpreting it to interpret it for you.”
John Houston: (28:38)
Businesses, when you’re trying to come to your good judgment based on the plain language of this order, I want to remind you, you don’t need a letter. You don’t need a certification or a clearance that you have to have with you to show that you’re in compliance. But what you do need is to make sure that you have a rationale about how that order applies to you. If you have that question, we just ask you to read it, come to your justification and have that justification prepared in case you get asked. Because we just need you to be prepared in case you get a question from an employee, a local health department official.
John Houston: (29:24)
One of the things for the health departments that will help businesses as they’re complying with this is that you need to follow those rules. Please don’t create new rules for businesses to interpret. We have over 100 health departments in the state. We don’t want to have a patchwork of rules that are different across that landscape. Let’s remain consistent across Ohio on how we’re enforcing the rules and asking people to comply.
John Houston: (29:56)
Once again, I want to emphasize, read the plain language of the order. If you don’t qualify, then consider yourself closed. But if you do qualify, as I mentioned earlier, be prepared to explain it to your employees, to law enforcement or a health department official if you’re asked, because that will come. If you’re somebody that is clearly not qualifying under this order, you will eventually be called on it by an employee, by a competitor, by a neighbor. Somebody will call you on it, so please, please, please don’t force it to come to that. Just simply comply with the order in its plain language as we ask you to do.
John Houston: (30:42)
A reminder that even if you are an essential business and you’re allowed to remain open under Item 18 of this, there are safety and health standards you still must comply with to make sure that you’re providing a safe place for your businesses to operate in a safe environment for your employees. The last thing any responsible business would want to do is to have a violation that allows an employee to become sick and then spreads that through your workforce. Governor delineated we know that it’s tough on business, but if you really want to do something that’s tough on business and irresponsible, then if something like that were to happen, you would decimate your entire workforce. You would be counterproductive that you would be spreading. Know that you have to comply with the safe workplace components of this order.
John Houston: (31:39)
I just ask, remember what the goal is for all of this. The goal is all of us to collectively work to slow the spread. That is so very important. If you can stay home as has been emphasized or you can work from home, do that. The virus only spreads when we spread it. It only spreads as Dr. Acton and I talked a lot, it only spreads when we allow that to happen through our behaviors. I’ve never recall a day where literally everybody can either be part of the solution or part of the problem. We just ask you to interpret these rules, the stay-at-home order, the essential business with that spirit that we want you to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
John Houston: (32:28)
I also want to add that as we do this and we say this, there are still businesses out there that are essential. They need their employees to be able to come to work to help with this. They’re being responsible. They’re doing the right thing, but everybody from food delivery to grocery stores and the like, they’re calling every day telling us how difficult it is to have the workforce that they need to serve you. If you’re in a position where you can work at one of those businesses, they’re hiring, please make yourself available to do so.
John Houston: (33:07)
One of the things that as a former legislator I recall in going through 9/11 and going through the financial crisis, is that you’re being asked, and right now the Governor has a great list of things that he’s asking the legislature to do, we want you to know that we appreciate the way all of you are pulling together to help support us. The Speaker, the Senate President, the minority leaders and the members, we really appreciate the cooperative spirit that you’re displaying as we’re going through this. I know that sometimes you’re at an information deficit that you’re not accustomed to. I remember that frustration myself. We’re doing our best to get you the information you need. We’ve been so impressed over the last 24 hours how you’re pulling together to help us do that. That’s critically important and thank you.
John Houston: (34:02)
Another question that we have received, the Governor and I know we both received this a lot over the last few days regarding lending and the financial services. First of all, the banks want me to remind you, and the credit unions and everybody that’s part of the financial services industry, they’re open. They’re open and doing business. Maybe their lobby isn’t physically open over the social distancing component, but they have ATMs and drive-ups and other types of online services where they can assist you.
John Houston: (34:33)
On mortgages, let me remind that the Federal Home Finance Authority has provided a 60-day moratorium on foreclosures and 12 months of forbearance to help people with home mortgages get through this difficult time. Also on this, we’ve had the questions about commercial lenders. Every state’s different on what we’re allowed to do. Most of this is regulated at the federal level, but I’ve received assurances from the banks and the credit unions. If you’re a business owner who is experiencing difficulty, please call them. They have been granted authority under their charters to be able to work with you at solving those problems, the commercial lenders, what to help you solve those problems. Please use the resources that they have. Talk with them to help align your finances and their terms in a way that can help you get through this difficult period. A reminder, one final time coronavirus.ohio.gov/business help. There’s a whole list of information right there that can give you guidance on where you need to go.
John Houston: (35:55)
Then finally, we talk about being transparent up here. One of the things that really troubled me yesterday was the fact that we’d received an order from the Department of Labor not to release the daily unemployment numbers. But while we will not be able to give them daily, we are going to give them weekly. Every Thursday we are allowed to share that data and we’re going to share that data with you every Thursday as soon as we’re allowed to do it. We’ll be providing weekly, not daily updates to that.
John Houston: (36:26)
Also, the unemployment.ohio.gov website is up and running. We haven’t had any issues today as far as I am aware of slowdowns. We appreciate the tech teams on all of these tech solutions supporting to make sure that the services are available to all of you out there who need them. Thank you, Governor.
Mike DeWine: (36:48)
Thank you. Jim [Monty 00:10:50].
Thank you, Governor. A question about the stay-at-home order. What’s your sense of the compliance rate? Have you heard or seen any violations across the state? If so, what’s it going to take to bring more people into compliance? I’m talking about businesses here.
Mike DeWine: (37:05)
Jim, I think the compliance rate is pretty good. Again, it’s only been in effect for a short period of time. We’ll see. We’re getting reports from around the state. As Jon said, we talked to a number of mayors about it today. Mayor Cranley described in Cincinnati, he thought the compliance was good. It’s a work in progress. We’re going to see where we are.
Laura Bischoff: (37:38)
Good afternoon. Laura Bischoff, Dayton Daily News. This I guess is for Dr. Acton. I was wondering if you could provide some more details on the hospital bed capacity. The 60% is that, the 40% empty, is that enough or not enough? When will hotels and dorm rooms be used? Who goes to the dorm and hotel room? Are we going to see the construction of quick tent hospitals kind of like we did in Wuhan? Just some more details would be really helpful.
Dr. Acton: (38:11)
I know it would. We’re going to be sharing that more. We have a whole team putting together that in a way that I can give you more detail in the day to come. But I think everyone should understand and not be surprised that this is the trend. I mean, we will need to build extra capacity. Our hospitals have been collaborating to work on that alongside the Governor’s team. They’re putting together a whole strategy. I’m also talking to other states right now.
Dr. Acton: (38:39)
Unfortunately, I think you’re probably watching Governor Cuomo. They’re using tents. They didn’t have as much time to maybe use other structures. I’m very interested in using existing structures that we have and deploying some of that. Please stay tuned. I promise to give you more of that once we have finalized those plans. Of course, we stand ready to use all options.
Mike DeWine: (39:02)
Laura, we clearly do not …
Dr. Acton: (39:03)
We stand ready to use all options.
Mike DeWine: (39:03)
Laura, we clearly do not have enough capacity as it exists today. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, but we are out as Dr. Acton said, looking for other facilities. Our first preference obviously is facilities that already exist, buildings that already exist and it is as she said a work in progress. But we feel that we’re on track and moving forward. Again, a lot of this does go back to the modeling. Modeling changes every day. But it is giving us a pretty good indication of where we need to go.
Kevin Landers: (39:43)
Kevin Landers, WBNS-10TV. Good afternoon governor. This is a question for Dr. Acton. Pharmacists have been encountering patients on a daily basis that are exhibiting flu like and coronavirus like symptoms. Given the strain on hospitals, doctors in urgent care, pharmacists have expressed a desire for more concrete guidance on what to do. Could you please speak to them? Thank you.
Dr. Acton: (40:07)
Oh, thank you so much. I need a little more clarification on that question of guidance from pharmacists, but we will reach out and talk to them more directly. I’ve heard at least in a little bit of ear to the ground, I know there’ve been issues of there are MinuteClinics and other things that are in pharmacies while there are also stores and grocery shopping going on. So I’ve heard there’s a need for some guidance in that area as well as, we’ve been giving guidance to pharmacists about how to best use the resources they have in terms of the drug supply. We talked a lot about the anti-malarials as well as giving guidance. Most patients should be talking to their primary care provider, whatever that is and sometimes that is a MinuteClinic for some folks. But we want to do it by phone whenever possible, using phone or using telemedicine, going through those symptoms, seeing if they’re needed to be tested and giving guidance from there.
Dr. Acton: (41:11)
But most people will stay at home and often be a presumptive diagnosis. I want to say one more thing about symptoms to folks out there. We talk a lot about what to look for being flu like. Some of the data we’re looking at now showing that it is things we’ve talked about, the fever, headache, body aches. But we’re seeing some new symptoms emerge both here in the United States. Really great data that’s been coming out of Cuyahoga, talking about people talking about GI upset. Just feeling more fatigued than usual and sometimes not showing that fever but you know when you’re not feeling well. My best advice to everyone is if you don’t feel well in any way, stay home and make that call. We do have our local health departments have resources out there. There are folks who don’t have a physician. We have our federally qualified health centers to call and we also then you can call an emergency room, but call first that helps them get ready to best treat you. Thank you.
Andrew Welsh Huggins : (42:21)
Hi, Andrew Welsh Huggins with the Associated Press for the governor. I wanted to go back to your comments earlier, you and the president. This morning at 10:10 AM governor, you sent a tweet that said, by staying home, we can all help protect our essential workers, doctors, nurses, first responders, truck drivers, grocery store employees, et cetera. Please do the right thing. At 10:16 AM the president tweeted, our people want to return to work. They will practice social distancing and all else and seniors will be watched over protectively and lovingly. We can do two things together. We just heard you, Dr. Acton and Lieutenant governor again, talk about the importance of obeying your stay at home order. So respectfully, it does not sound like you and the president are aligned at all where Ohioans are concerned. It actually sounds like these are diametrically opposed messages. Could you address that please.
Mike DeWine: (43:24)
Sure. Maybe the lesson for me is not to tweet. But look, I don’t think those are inconsistent. First of all, as I said, I understand the frustration. I understand the frustration, not just that the president has, but that my fellow Ohioans, our fellow Americans have about wanting this to get over and get back to normal and to get people to work. I fully understand that the health of well being of every Ohioan I believe is really tied to our economy. We know when bad economic times go on for a while, we have bad health consequences, so those are related, you can’t separate the two.
Mike DeWine: (44:21)
But each proactive step that we take to protect Ohioans from contracting the coronavirus is also a proactive step towards protecting our economy from crashing. So they’re not inconsistent. The short term consequences of slowing this economy down, which is what we’re certainly seeing, will far outweigh the longterm economic meltdown from a deadly virus that is left unchecked. We cannot leave this unchecked. We are at war with real enemy. When you’re at war, you do everything you can to defeat the enemy and you have to prioritize that and that’s what we’re doing. That’s what we’re doing nationally. That’s what Ohio is doing. The science clearly indicates that we’re on the right path with all our collaborative efforts, our collective efforts of distancing, stay home, et cetera. These are the measures that will get us back to work. These are the measures that will help protect our economy. I’ve referenced several times before the lessons of St. Louis and the lessons of Philadelphia in the 1918 pandemic 102 years ago. We’ve got to slow the spread. We’ve got to flatten the curve as, we have said, so that our hospital system is not overwhelmed.
Mike DeWine: (45:58)
A overwhelmed hospital system, which would leave Ohioans dying needlessly. We’ll have longterm ramifications, not just in the lives of those who died, not just in the lives of their families. But it’ll have longterm ramifications in regard to our ability to recover and move forward. Leaving our hospital system, our healthcare system in shambles is not the way to grow our economy. So we have to do what we have to do now, but our goal is all of us have the same goal and that is saved lives and do what we can do now. So that we can get out of this as quick as we can so we can get people back to work. So we can get on with our lives. So I don’t think those are not mutually exclusive. Those are consistent with each other. We have to do what we have to do and that’s what we’re going to do.
Andrew Welsh Huggins : (47:06)
Jackie Borchardt: (47:10)
This is Jackie Borchardt from the Cincinnati Enquirer. I’m just going to follow up on Andrew’s question. The president has said he would like to see the economy up and running in two weeks Easter. Given what you’ve just said, Ohio strategy of building capacity and stopping the spread. Is two weeks, enough time to accomplish that?
Mike DeWine: (47:28)
Look, I would like to see the economy up and running in two weeks too. I would like to see it up and running as soon as we can. I think what we will all want is the same thing. I as governor have to look at Ohio. I have to take all the data that I have in regard to Ohio. I have to look at where we are in Ohio at this point in the progress of this insidious invader that has invaded us and make decisions based upon the best medical evidence that I can get. As I said, I spent long time on the phone with the folks at Cleveland Clinic, talking later with folks from UC, from Ohio state. I mean, we’re pulling in the best experts that we can and that’s my obligation as the governor of…
Speaker 1: (48:20)
Speaker 2: (48:20)
[inaudible 00:48:20] should you think we call the names?
Speaker 1: (48:25)
I don’t think she’ll be calling the names, I think she’ll just kind of look for her. She might try to kind of help her find college is what I’m saying, she’ll try and find help and make sure that [inaudible 00:09:36]. None of you are live yet, right?
Speaker 2: (48:56)
No. [inaudible 00:48:56] I’m putting over there.
Speaker 1: (48:56)