A distortion of information

Representative Jena Powell’s opinion piece in the Miami Valley Today dated Nov. 13 neither opens Ohio nor protects the most vulnerable as she asserts. The information that she presents largely represents business interests of those that would seek to undercut Governor Mike DeWine’s efforts to curb a potentially deadly disease that threatens the health of everyone.

Her article “Open Ohio and protect most vulnerable” contains a mish-mash of numbers and percentages that effectively distort the information that she presents. The Ohio Department of Health provides information that people can truly rely on and get a more informed understanding of the impact that the COVID-19 virus has on our communities. Visit their web page link at Ohio.gov and follow the prompts.

When referencing information on the COVID-19 pandemic from verifiable sources, you will quickly realize that the information Powell presented is largely inaccurate and out of context. Even arguably distorted to benefit her version of reality. Worse, it leaves the public with a false sense of the problem that we face from this predatory virus. Representative Powell’s comment, “As months have gone by, thankfully the virus is not as deadly as was once predicted” is proof of her inability to make sound judgments based on fact. The truth is that more than 1,000 Americans are dying of the COVID-19 virus every day. That fact represents a 50 percent increase over last month. Further, if current trends continue, we would be on track to reach or exceed the number of deaths experienced last March when the US recorded 2,200 deaths because of the virus every day.

Representative Powell would have us believe that the increases in suicides are directly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, there are multiple reasons for suicide, and they are not mutually exclusive to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, we lose approximately 21veterans to suicide every day with little notice. It is also unfortunate that drug addiction and suicide rates increase as related to Medicare/Medicaid funding. Essential funding when cut adversely impacts healthcare services and treatments that prevent those from getting the help they need. Perhaps Representative Powell will help restore the $210 million dollars that the Governor cut from Ohio’s healthcare system, and save some lives in the process.

So, why present inaccurate or even misleading information? I believe that in this particular case, Representative Powell is supporting a small cadre of GOP leaders in the House and Senate. A small group of Republicans is essentially trying to usurp the power of the governor through legislation (Senate Bill 1) specifically because they do not like the path that the Governor is taking to intentionally protect the health and welfare of all Ohioans, and Ohio’s healthcare system in general.

According to Ohio’s Constitution, Governor DeWine has a primary legal, as well as a moral responsibility, to protect the more than 11.5 million Ohioans in our state from contingencies just like the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of trying to limit the Governor’s ability to act responsibly, we should be supporting his effort.

I understand the dilemma that this pandemic poses to our state’s economy as well as our national economy. However, until an effective vaccine is developed, and made available soon, it would be wise to follow the recommendation from the CDC to keep everyone safe. Consider this, do you really think that a small cadre of GOP leaders, so jealous for power, is going to act on your behalf or interests … based on past performance and history, I think not. Representative Powell needs to get a better grip on reality.