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DeWine Says He Wants To Issue A Statewide Mask Mandate But Ohio Lawmakers Won't Let Him

Gov DeWine speaks to. reporters about kids, COVID and why he can't issue a mask mandate
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Gov.Mike DeWine speaks to reporters about kids, COVID and why he can't issue a mask mandate on a video call with the Ohio Department of Health on September 14, 2021.

Ohio’s children’s hospitals say they are at capacity because they are treating so many kids for COVID and other illnesses. In fact, all of the hospitals in Toledo were on emergency bypass Monday night, so for hours, EMTs could not take patients to those facilities. Yet, as Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports, Gov. Mike DeWine says he can’t issue a statewide mask mandate.

DeWine says he’d like to issue a temporary statewide mask mandate right now to help cut down on COVID spread, especially among kids. But he says he is powerless to do so.

“I vetoed the bill that gave the legislature this power. That veto, as you well know because you reported it, was overridden by the state legislature. In addition to that, the state legislature has made it very clear to me that they will take off a health order if I put a health order on.”

DeWine says that, and going to court over that, would create confusion that might end up making things worse. So he, along with leaders at Ohio’s hospitals, are urging Ohioans to wear masks and demand local leaders put mask mandates in place.