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Rep. Liston statement on GOP bill to downplay severity of COVID-19, force publication of misleading data

June 10, 2020
Democratic Newsroom

State Rep. Beth Liston (D-Dublin) issued a statement today following the passage of House Bill 624,Republican legislation that would require the release of certain COVID-19 related data, which Liston says will make it more difficult for health departments to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Transparency is critical, but politicians should not undermine health professionals who are working to care for people in Ohio. This bill requires health departments to guess at information that isn’t available, which would create confusion and make it difficult to keep people healthy during this pandemic,” said Liston.

House Democrats criticized several aspects of the bill, saying it downplays the severity of COVID-19, misrepresenting the effect of the virus and comorbidities by requiring that the death was attributed solely by covid-19 or additional complication factors.

Additionally, Democrats noted the bill’s failure to address real gaps in the data, including the lack of race/ethnicity data made available to this point, as well as the bill’s failure to take into account existing health information privacy laws and release of that information to the public.