House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) issued a statement as Ohio prepares to mark the one-year anniversary of its first confirmed coronavirus cases. The governor issued a state of emergency on March 9, 2020, after three Ohioans reportedly tested positive for the virus.
“On the anniversary of the stay at home orders we mourn and grieve for those whose lives were lost and the many still deeply impacted by this crisis. We thank our frontline workers for their continued service and sacrifice.
“Yet the deeply nagging feeling that it didn’t have to be this bad will always haunt. Had we continued to work together like in the early days of the pandemic, I have no doubt many more lives could have been saved. Instead, the extremes of our politics politicized our response—and so many of our state leaders let it happen.
“Responding to this crisis shouldn’t be a partisan fight. It should be a humanitarian one. While we’re thankful for the Biden administration’s leadership these past two months, the fact is for Ohio to beat this virus, we’re going to need more than leadership from Washington. We’re going to need it in our own backyard. We’re again calling on the governor, Statehouse Republicans and those within his party to drop the politics and get back to basics by following the science so we can end this crisis faster, protect Ohio workers and save lives.”