Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, who garnered national headlines in 2019 when he took the oath of office swearing on nine Bibles, has had impeachment articles filed against him over his COVID-19 shutdown orders.
Republican members of the Ohio House of Representatives filed 12 Articles of Impeachment against fellow GOP member DeWine on Monday, taking issue with measures he has pursued to combat the coronavirus, including a face mask mandate and stay-at-home order.
State Representative John Becker, who is spearheading the effort, released a statement outlining the various charges against DeWine, which is centered on the governor’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“DeWine’s mismanagement, malfeasance, misfeasance, abuse of power, and other crimes include, but are not limited to, meddling in the conduct of a presidential primary election, arbitrarily closing and placing curfews on certain businesses, while allowing other businesses to remain open,” read the statement in part.
“He weaponized the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to bully and harass businesses and the people; to enforce a statewide mask mandate and other controversial measures of dubious ‘value,’ making Ohio a hostile work environment.”
Becker also accused the governor of having “the further audacity to include congregants at places of worship, forcing citizens to choose between worshipping their God and worshipping at the altar of unbridled government.”
The House Resolution for impeachment must receive a simple majority in the House of Representatives and a two-thirds majority in the State Senate to successfully remove DeWine.
Becker had previously advocated for impeaching DeWine back in August, with the governor telling the press at the time that he was not concerned with the effort.
“My focus as governor will continue to be to keep people safe and get our economy moving faster. Getting more people work and saving lives. That’s where my focus is,” stated DeWine in August, as reported by local media outlet WTVG.
“If there are others in the legislature that want to spend their time drawing up resolutions, it’s a free country, that’s how they can spend their time. I say have at it.”
According to a report by the Ohio Department of Health, as of Tuesday there have been about 430,000 COVID-19 cases reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to over 27,000 hospitalizations and a little over 6,500 deaths.
Dr. Andy Thomas of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center said that since Nov. 1, coronavirus-related hospitalizations have increased 200%, reported local media outlet WCMH.