Open For Business

May 14, 2020

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the ongoing debate about the risks and benefits of opening up Ohio's economy.

Listen to Snollygoster on the WOSU Public Media mobile app, on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. And make sure to leave a rating and review!

In this week's episode:

Damned If You Do, Damed If You Don't

By the end of this week, about 90% of Ohio's economy will be open–or at least allowed to open. Stores and shopping malls were able to open on Tuesday, whil hair, nail and tattoo salons can open Friday. More openings have been announced for the rest of the month.

This all despite the fact that Ohio does not meet federal guidelines for easing stay-at-home orders: COVID-19 cases are not decreasing, and minimum testing recommendations have not been met.

On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned a Senate committee that states that open too soon risk serious health and economic consequences.

Gov. Mike DeWine said he acknowledges those risks but maintains that there are serious risks to keeping things shut down as well. 

Finger To The Wind

A recent Emerson College poll indicates that about half of Ohioans approve of the reopening of public facilities as long as social distancing and precautions are taken.

The same poll shows that DeWine has a 71% approval rating and President Trump has a 48% approval rating.

In the presidential race, Trump has a slight lead with 46% to Joe Biden's 43% and 11% undecided.

Snollygoster Of The Week

First Energy Solutions, the operator of two northern Ohio nuclear power plants, convinced state lawmakers that they needed a subsidy to stay in business. So next year, electric customers will pay a monthly fee in their bills.

The company now has a new name, Energy Harbor, and is increasing its stock buyback from $500 million to $800 million.

Energy Harbor released a statement saying that the repurchase of shares is unrelated to the guaranteed funds it will begin receiving next April.

Send questions and comments to snollygoster@wosu.org.