In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss President Trump's inaccurate claim that mail-in ballots are ripe for fraud. Michael McDonald, a political science professor at the University of Florida, joins the show.
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In this week's episode:
Weighing Risks Of Reopening
The reopening of Ohio is almost complete, with the exception of mass gatherings like concerts, movies or sporting events. Just about every service Ohioans enjoyed before the pandemic began will be available by Monday, as far as state health orders are concerned.
However, daily stats show the virus is still with us. Confirmed and probable cases continue to climb, but that could be because Ohio is testing more. Deaths climbed above 2,000 this week, and people are still going to the hospital with COVID-19, but the daily rate of admissions has been declining.
Gov. Mike DeWine has said that he expects numbers to go up as people head back out into the world however.
Nursing Homes Hit Hardest
Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities continue to bear the brunt of fatal COVID-19 cases. About 70% percent of the state’s deaths are connected to nursing homes.
The state will fail to meet the White House’s one-time recommendation of testing every nursing home resident by this week, as DeWine enlists the help of the Ohio National Guard to test all nursing home staff.
Voting During A Pandemic
It's almost five months until election day in November. COVID-19 will likely still be with us, and experts agree it's important to avoid long lines at polling places. One way to do that is to make it easier for people to vote by mail, and most, including Ohio's Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose, agree that's the way to go.
But “most” does not include the president of the United States, who again this week falsely disparaged mail-in voting as overwhelmingly corrupt. “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent," Trump tweeted. "Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed."
There is no evidence of substantial fraud for mail-in voting, and Twitter flagged the president's tweet accordingly.
Snollygoster Of The Week
Rep. Jon Cross, a Northwest Ohio Republican, tweeted out of video of Ohio Department of Health director Amy Acton in a conference room meeting not wearing a mask. He accused her of being a hypocrite, calling for her resignation.
It turns out that Acton wasn’t wearing a mask because the video was from early March, at the very start of the coronavirus crisis, and before health experts recommended wearing masks.
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