Today, members of the Ohio Senate Democratic leadership condemned state Senator Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) for comparing the actions taken by Health Director Amy Acton in response of the Covid-19 pandemic to those taken by Nazi Germany. Democratic leaders have asked for a full apology.
“Senator Brenner owes Director Acton a full, unqualified apology,” said Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights). “This is not the first time his comments have shown a lack of judgement. He needs to take responsibility for what he said, stop blaming the media for accurately reporting his words, and understand that this behavior will not be tolerated in the Ohio Statehouse.”
“Senator Brenner is trying to sugarcoat his outrageous comments,” said Assistant Minority Leader Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati). “He needs to accept full responsibility for his hurtful comments and condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by his wife. Or he should consider resigning.”
“Today, I stand with Governor DeWine, President Obhof and other Democrat and Republican leaders throughout our state in condemning the statements made by Senator Andrew Brenner regarding our state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and comparing it to Nazi Germany,” said Minority Whip Sean O’Brien (D-Bazetta). “Governor DeWine and Dr. Acton have done an admirable job responding to this unprecedented crisis. It is only through working together and respecting each other that we can get through these difficult days.“
“Comparing state policies to the Holocaust and Nazi Germany is reprehensible and has no place in the Ohio Statehouse,” said Assistant Minority Whip Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland). “Senator Brenner needs to publicly apologize for his disgraceful comments. Out of respect for all Ohioans, he should also apologize on the Senate floor the next time we are in legislative session. His words were hurtful to Director Acton, our Jewish community and all Ohioans who believe these times call for unity, not division. There is no space for intolerance in our chamber.”
On Tuesday, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Senator Brenner said on Facebook that he would not allow Director Acton, who is Jewish, to turn Ohio into Nazi Germany as the state continues to implement policies to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of apologizing for his comments, Brenner blamed the media which he accused of misreporting his words.