Last week, Ohio witnessed the first COVID-19 vaccinations being given out to frontline and essential workers and those in vulnerable populations. This marks the first step in returning to normalcy, and it is all thanks to President Trump and Governor DeWine’s leadership. Democrats and political pundits doubted President Trump’s Administration would be able to produce a vaccine in less than one year, but thanks to Operation Warp Speed, we now have multiple pharmaceutical companies working diligently to produce effective vaccines. Once again, President Trump delivered on a promise he made to Americans.
With just over two weeks to go until the January 5th Georgia Senate runoff elections, Republicans must continue voicing support for the two candidates. Senators Loeffler and Perdue must be re-elected by Georgians in order to maintain a conservative majority in the Senate. It is not too late to volunteer your time to help the Senators win their races. If you are interested in helping us win two very important Senate races, you can Volunteer Here!
Jane M. Timken
On Senate Floor, Portman Calls on Senate to Pass Critical legislation to Respond to Challenge of COVID-19
Last week on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Rob Portman gave his 21st speech since March calling on Congress to pass legislation to respond to the health care and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this week, Portman joined a group of bipartisan senators in introducing two bipartisan packages to provide as much as $908 billion in relief to American students, families, businesses, workers, and health care providers during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Congressional leadership is using most of the legislation for the basis of the final product they will unveil to create a bridge of support between now and when the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available.
A video of his remarks can be found here.
DeWine: COVID Vaccinations Start in Ohio
On Monday, Governor DeWine announced that the first COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered in Ohio. Shipments of 975 doses were delivered to both The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus and UC Health in Cincinnati. Several healthcare workers and personnel who are routinely involved with the care of COVID-19 patients immediately received vaccinations.
“It was such a moment of hope to watch the healthcare workers begin to get vaccinated,” said Governor DeWine. “This is the first day of a process that will continue over the months ahead as Ohioans who choose to be vaccinated have their opportunity to receive the vaccine. However, until the vaccine is widely available for all Ohioans who choose to receive it, we must continue to use all available tools to prevent the spread of the virus, like wearing a mask, keeping your distance, and washing your hands.”
As COVID-19 vaccines continue to come to Ohio, Cardinal Health’s OptiFreight Logistics business will help provide same-day delivery services. Once the vaccine is widely available, this partnership will allow Ohio to ship the vaccine to approximately 350 locations across the state.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention invited Ohio to participate in an early scaled launch of vaccinations in nursing homes beginning Friday.
Ohio had previously been scheduled to start its nursing home vaccination program in partnership with pharmacy providers on Monday, December 21.
On Friday, Governor DeWine, First Lady Fran DeWine, and Lt. Governor Husted visited nursing facilities across the state to watch the administration of the first COVID-19 vaccines in the nation in long-term care facilities as part of a new partnership. The vaccines, which were given to residents and staff who chose to receive them, were given as part of the early scaling up of the federal Pharmacy Long-Term Care Partnership program.
“It’s an incredible day in Ohio’s history. The rolling out of these vaccines mark a turning point in this pandemic,” said Governor DeWine.
Husted Announces Innovative Broadband Expansion Pilot Project
Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced on Wednesday another innovative broadband expansion project aimed at connecting underserved households and businesses in Ohio.
Allen Township, outside of Marysville, will be the site of a new pilot project through the Starlink satellite broadband service developed by SpaceX.
The pilot will test the delivery of Starlink’s space-based high speed internet to 90 households and about 10 small businesses. It marks the largest Starlink pilot in the Midwest and it was made possible through the partnership of InnovateOhio, BroadbandOhio, the City of Marysville, economic leaders in Union County, and JobsOhio.
To learn more, click here.
Yost Joins Lawsuit to End Google’s Illegal Monopoly
Attorney General Dave Yost joined a bipartisan coalition of 37 attorneys general last week in suing Google for anticompetitive conduct. Yost and the states allege Google illegally maintains its monopoly power over search engines and related advertising markets through anticompetitive conduct.
“Exclusion and discrimination are by their nature anti-competitive,” Yost said. “When you add those tactics to Google’s dominance, you’re stepping on the market, not competing in it.”
Through its monopoly, Google has deprived consumers of competition that can lead to greater choice, innovation and better privacy protections.
LaRose Receives National Cyber Security Award for 2020 Election
On Monday, the 55th Ohio Electoral College cast their 18 electoral votes for President Trump, signifying the end of the 2020 election in Ohio. This election was the most secure election in Ohio history, thanks largely due to the preparations made by Secretary LaRose over the last two years. For this work, this week LaRose received the SANS Institute’s prestigious cybersecurity “Difference Maker” Award.
“I’m honored to receive this on behalf of hundreds of election officials throughout the state as well as our world class cybersecurity team,” said LaRose. “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance and that is why we never fall into a ‘mission accomplished’ mindset. We are not resting — we are innovating to make sure Ohio continues leading on election cybersecurity so that voters can be confident that their voice is heard.”
Ohio’s cyber security initiatives were in the national spotlight this week when Senator Rob Portman highlighted them during a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. His remarks about Ohio’s state of the art cybersecurity measures implemented at all 88 county board can be watched here.
Faber Visits Local Officials
This week Auditor of State Keith Faber was in NE Ohio, talking with mayors and finance directors about how COVID has impacted their communities and seeing what help they need as they continue to suffer the effects of the economic shutdown due to the pandemic. Auditor Faber has encouraged local governments to make funds available to help small businesses so many of which are risking closure because of the economic downturn.
Treasurer Sprague: STABLE Account Hits the 20k Mark, Sees a Record-Breaking Year
On Wednesday, Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague announced the STABLE Account program has reached another milestone in exceeding 20,000 active accounts. The announcement comes as participation in the program has more than doubled in less than two years.
Launched in 2016, the STABLE Account program makes 529-like specialized savings and investment accounts available to people living with disabilities and their families.
“Today’s announcement is about much more than reaching a milestone,” said Treasurer Sprague. “It represents the profound impact STABLE accounts are making in bringing independence and peace of mind to individuals and families. Despite the many challenges brought on by COVID-19, the STABLE Account program has proven to be a trusted and reliable resource for those living with disabilities to achieve financial empowerment.”
The enrollment announcement caps off a record-breaking year for the program. Throughout 2020, STABLE Account set new single-month, single-week, and single-day records for program enrollment.
Video: A Record Year for STABLE