State Watch

Ohio GOP governor comes out against controversial state anti-vaccine bill

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Thursday came out against a controversial bill that would weaken the state’s vaccination laws, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

DeWine said he opposes House Bill 248, which would block employers from mandating vaccinations as a condition of employment and allow residents to skip any vaccination by making a written or verbal declaration.

It would also prohibit mask mandates for unvaccinated people and block health departments, schools or other government agencies from mandating participation in a vaccine registry.

“Before modern medicine, diseases such as mumps, polio, whooping cough were common and caused great, great, great suffering and death to thousands of people every single year,” said DeWine during a news conference announcing the latest winners for the state’s Vax-a-Million lottery. 

The governor’s comments come after a legislative hearing on the bill went viral and drew widespread mockery for a witness who pushed unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 vaccine.

A Cleveland-area physician and prominent anti-vaccine activist falsely told Ohio state lawmakers on Tuesday that the shot causes people to become “magnetized.”

Sherri Tenpenny, an osteopathic doctor who supports the debunked conspiracy theory that vaccines cause autism, spoke as an invited expert witness to the Ohio House of Representatives.

“I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures all over the internet of people who have had these shots and now they’re magnetized,” Tenpenny said to the lawmakers. “They can put a key on their forehead. It sticks. They can put spoons and forks all over them and they can stick, because now we think that there’s a metal piece to that.”

Tags Columbus Dispatch Magnet mask mandate Mike DeWine Ohio Ohio Vax-A-Million Sherri Tenpenny Vaccine hesitancy
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