COLUMBUS, OH — On the eve of a monumental presidential election, which may again be decided by the Buckeye State, Gov. Mike DeWine is urging Ohioans to remember the pressing challenge of a resurgent COVID-19.
In an open letter to the populace, DeWine hit familiar notes, sounding off on the nation's deep political divide and rancorous politics. While he urged Ohioans, and all Americans, to rally together post election, he also reminded his constituents they have a present and common enemy: COVID-19.
"As we confront this new enemy, time is not on our side. We must focus. We must rally together," DeWine wrote.
Both Ohio and the U.S. have spent recent weeks shattering records for most new COVID-19 cases confirmed in a day. On Thursday, the state set a record with 3,800 new cases confirmed in 24 hours.
Based on the most recent COVID-19 data in Ohio, nearly 80 percent of residents live in a "red" or "level 3" county, meaning there is "very high exposure and spread" of COVID-19 locally.
The onus of responsibility does not fall merely on everyday Ohioans, the governor said. Instead, politicians at the state and federal level must do more to protect and preserve American life.
"Congress needs to quickly pass a bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill. But each one of us also has an obligation. We all need to protect each other–our families, our friends, our neighbors, and Ohioans we don't even know. We must do this to keep the virus at bay until we get the vaccine. And when we do, we will need the voices of both parties emphasizing the importance of getting that vaccine out and of people choosing to receive it," the governor wrote.