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Brown, Portman Urge Caution As Ohio Approaches New Phase In Pandemic

A closed sign on a store in Westerville
Karen Kasler

The state is in the process of reopening businesses, but leaders are calling on people to continue practicing social distancing. That includes Ohio's U.S. Senators who stress the importance of taking the coronavirus seriously as mitigation orders are lifted.

U.S Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) say they commend Gov. Mike DeWine's (R-Ohio) response to COVID-19.

But Brown says there are other Republicans who are not supporting social distancing, a narrative he says starts with President Donald Trump.

"For Republicans in most places to continue to just mimic what the president says and does and to continue to deny that this is a serious public health threat that it is, is morally reprehensible," says Brown.

Portman says that's not accurate, adding that the president has set the tone with his reopening guidelines.

"Providing federal guidance which has been approved by the White House and by the CDC and by NIH and Dr. [Deborah] Birx and Dr. [Anthony] Fauci," Portman says.

Both senators emphasize the deadly nature of the virus. Wes Fahrbach, a former aide to Portman, passed away last month due to COVID-19.

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