Butler County lawmaker refuses to have temperature taken at Statehouse

Ohio Rep. Candice Keller is not going to have her temperature taken as she goes to work at the Statehouse.

The Middletown Republican said she has "civil rights" and "a right to privacy," in a Facebook post about her experience with a staff member of the Speaker of the House attempting to take her temperature.

But other Butler County lawmakers have no problem with their temperature being taken.

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One of the symptoms of the novel coronavirus is a temperature that is at 100.4 degrees or higher. There are other symptoms, and a fever is not always a determining factor in a diagnosis.

Lawmakers who wish to vote but feel ill can vote in an isolation room.

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

Keller wrote that she was approached earlier this week by the person in the Statehouse parking garage. She said she “ignored him like always and kept walking,” but “he kept saying, ‘Ma’am, ma’am, I have to take your temperature.’”

She refused. Keller said Speaker of the House Larry Householder later called her to apologize as it’s not mandatory for elected members to have temperatures taken.

Keller later texted the Journal-News that “mandatory temperature taking is simply another conditioning of us to accept abuses against our liberty. This statewide mood of consent has created a mindset to accept executive fiat...when it’s really just more government expansion into our personal lives.”

Keller, whose term is up at the end of 2020, lost an Ohio Senate bid to Ohio Rep. George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., in the 2020 primary election.

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Lang said he would allow his temperature to be taken.

“If I might be infected, I want to know and I want to take precautions to make sure I am not spreading the disease,” Lang said. “For the most part, I do believe the disease is somewhat of a hoax.”

Lang was one of the speakers at a Open Ohio Now! rally earlier this month at which some called for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s removal from office.

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Lang disagrees with any push for impeachment, but previously told the Journal-News that DeWine “got it wrong” in his approach to shut down most of the state to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“I think early on in the COVID-19 (pandemic), the evidence certainly appeared real,” Lang said earlier this month. “But I think we have enough empirical data now to show, ‘Hey, we were wrong.’ We made some bad choices, and the devastation will take us decades to undo.”

Ohio Rep. Sara Carruthers, R-Hamilton, also agrees with having her temperature taken “for the safety of others.”

“I want everyone to feel safe,” she said. “In order for that to happen they need to take my temperature, so I walk right up and get my temperature taken. I take precautions just like everyone else.”

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