COLUMBUS—State Senator Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) today issued the following statement amid the COVID-19 pandemic:
"Let me preference this by stating the obvious, I am not a medical doctor. In fact, I am not trained as a healthcare practitioner of any kind.
Many of the suggestions coming from the experts in medicine and science sound outlandish and extreme. Things like “social distancing” and “self-isolation” are difficult for our minds to comprehend. Even things such as handshaking are difficult social norms to break.
With 37 confirmed cases and 0 fatalities in Ohio, many of the actions we are taking at first glance seem like overreactions. It’s not an easy question to answer, “Why is all of this being done with so few confirmed cases?”
I am told that the situations in Italy and Ohio are very similar. For instance, the same shortage that Italy has for ventilators – we have too. The U.S. has approximately 160,000 ventilators available, in a model of projected cases there is an estimate that 740,000 could be needed. Additionally, the U.S. has approximately 45,000 ICU beds available. Again, in a model scenario 200,000 beds may be needed.
I am told that the U.S. is about 2 weeks behind the current situation in Italy. If that is accurate, it’s imperative that we learn from their mistakes. The measures that Italy has taken were too little, too late. While people in Italy thought the measures were an over-reaction at the time, I don’t believe many Italians believe that today. As Dr. Amy Acton has said, “On the front end of a pandemic, you look a little bit like an alarmist. On the back end of the pandemic, you didn’t do enough.”
The purpose for the significant actions here in Ohio and across the country are an attempt to slow the spread and progression of COVID-19. It’s an attempt to “flatten the curve”.
I understand how disruptive these measures are. They will undoubtedly have devastating effects on individuals, families, businesses and the economy. I can assure all of my constituents that none of these decisions were made lightly, nor was it anyone’s intent to cause harm to the economy or to your household finances.
Although these decisions are extremely difficult in the short-term, the Governor and others acted on the best advice of experts to implement measures to mitigate the coronavirus impact. These measures could literally be the difference between life or death.
The best information I have at this time is that the current disruption to our normal lives and routines is anticipated to be 4-8 weeks. Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Husted have enacted several measures to assist individuals and businesses that will most directly be impacted, which include:
As always my office is prepared to assist individuals or businesses who may have questions or need help during these trying times and you can reach me by email at Hottinger@OhioSenate.gov or by phone at (614) 466-5838."