Your Views: Dictator or caring for others? Readers react to DeWine veto of bill limiting public health powers

Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed a bill last week that would have limited the power of public health orders. It’s unclear if both legislative chambers have the votes needed to override his veto.

Senate Bill 311 called for curtailing the Ohio Department of Health’s authority to order quarantine and isolation as a means of containing the spread of infectious diseases. It would have blocked ODH from issuing statewide quarantine orders for people who aren’t ill or haven’t been directly exposed to an infectious disease. It would also have given lawmakers the ability to rescind state public health orders.

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“Having essential strategies to protect the public against the spread of infectious, contagious disease is not only important in our efforts to eradicate COVID-19, but it is also necessary to help stop the spread of all infectious diseases and prevent future health crises in Ohio,” DeWine said in his veto message.

There are hundreds of reader comments to the story on our Facebook page. Here’s a sampling of their comments reflecting both sides of the debate, some of which have been edited for length or clarity.

Comments supporting DeWine’s veto

Marcus D. Bailey: “I assume all the naysayers also get a prescription from their doctor, throw it in the trash, and call their local state representative for better advice since they want to disregard the Ohio Department of Health’s authority and make everything in life about an (R) or a (D).

Michael Alter: “What is wrong with these idiots in the state Senate. It’s like they don’t care if people get sick and die. They should all be voted out of office.”

Anne Wachs: “So you want to limit health experts from providing direction to keep from getting sick and passing disease, and give that power to non-experts like the state legislature? Cool, cool, cool, cool.”

Kathie Ulsh Riddle: “Why does everyone hate what he asks? I live in Darke Country. Our hospital is constantly got cars lined up for (testing). I know people who have died from COVID. What is this governor doing so wrong besides caring about people?”

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Astrid Mills: “Gov. DeWine is doing a great job and will stand his ground.”

Joe Alice Anderson: “Good results from a Cedarville upbringing.”

Clark Brinnon: “Come on, we are all in this together. With all due respect, be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.”

Leslie Brumley-Scott: “Good. Glad he vetoed it. Now it’s time to vote out these idiots in the state legislature.”

Raymond Roy: “We all have the right to pursue happiness, as long as it doesn’t infringe on others. That’s the reason there’s no more smoking in airplanes and restaurants.”

Mary Giltnane Taylor: “The U.S. is losing the same number of people lost on 9/11 every day. Only now the terrorists causing it are people who think it’s the sniffles.”

Comments opposed to DeWine’s veto

Gerald Cottrill: “The governor should have powers in an emergency to direct action as necessary. However, that should be limited in duration. Now that we are nine (or more) months into this, his actions and the actions of the health department need to be held in check by the other houses of government.”

Darlene Smart: “Since when is it ever been OK for your government to tell you about your health and regulate your health? Wake up and see the bigger picture — it’s about control and fear!”

Matt Schmidt: “DeWine isn’t a health expert.”

David Kennett: “Override the dictator.”

Jason Wright: “Do you understand that other lives are at stake? I’m not talking about from the virus. People are being quarantined and losing their jobs, businesses, etc., while politicians sit there and watch with no federal help!”

Erik Watson: “A politician vetoes a bill that would limit his power? Hmm, ya don’t say.”

Larry Staats: “Start impeachment hearings now.”

Paula Whitaker Vincent: “I propose that, as adults, we can make our own decisions. If I’m afraid, I stay home. If I’m comfortable about where I’m going, I go. I social distance so as not to invade anyone’s space and I certainly don’t need some overpaid politician applying socialist control tactics to make my decisions for me. We are losing our rights — one little right at a time. I don’t know about you but that concerns me a lot ... I try very hard to be considerate of others. I wear a mask when I walk into a store, I social distance around strangers. But I don’t need to be told how many people I can have in my own home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. That’s overreach and it seems to be getting worse, not better. It appears it’s more about control than anything else.”

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