DeWine’s reopening plan and other various and sundry news items

    Gov. Mike DeWine is seen during a COVID-19 press conference. (Screenshot courtesy OhioChannel)

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    Catching Our Eye:

    Reopening. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine released his plan Monday for reopening Ohio in phases.

    • Dine-in bars and restaurants, hair salons, gyms, and daycares do not have a slated date for reopening.
    • On Friday, May 1, nonessential medical out-patient procedures may resume.
    • On May 4, construction, manufacturing and distributing operations may resume as well as offices deemed “nonessential,” though working from home is still encouraged for those who can.
    • On May 12, retail and service companies may resume with customers and employees wearing required face covering.

    More information is available online.

    Little big league. The Wall Street Journal’s Gerald F. Seib and John McCormick are reporting, “Coronavirus Means the Era of Big Government Is…Back.”

    “History shows that big national shocks have a way of changing the role of government in lasting ways—and any shock as big as the coronavirus pandemic inevitably will alter political life and philosophies in America.

    “The crisis has been not just a public-health emergency requiring a sweeping response, but also the cause of the most searing economic pain since the Great Depression, summoning forth a multi-trillion-dollar government intervention into the economy.

    “Much of today’s new government activism will recede over time along with the virus. Yet conversations with a broad cross-section of political figures suggest there is little reason to expect a return to what had been the status quo on federal spending, or the prevailing attitude toward the proper role of government.

    “‘The era of Ronald Reagan, that said basically the government is the enemy, is over,’ said Rahm Emanuel, a moderate Democrat who served as mayor of Chicago, a member of Congress and President Obama’s first White House chief of staff.

    “An echo came from the other side of the political spectrum. ‘The era of Robert Taft, limited-government conservatism?’ said Steve Bannon, President Trump’s onetime political guru, referring to the Ohio senator who fought the expansion of government programs and federal borrowing. ‘It’s not relevant. It’s just not relevant.'”

    Poll vaulting. WEWS in Cleveland’s John Kosich is reporting, “85% of Ohioans approve of Gov. Mike DeWine’s handling of pandemic, poll says.”

    “As Governor Mike DeWine prepares to roll out Ohio’s new reopening guidelines, a new Baldwin Wallace University Ohio Poll shows the state’s residents have confidence in his ability to deliver what’s right for the state.

    “The polls shows that 85% of Ohio voters approve of DeWine’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 50% who approve of how President Donald Trump has handled the crisis. DeWine’s numbers have risen by five points since a similar poll in March while the president’s numbers have fallen nearly 8%.

    “That being said, Ohioans are still concerned. An astounding 94% of Ohioans surveyed say they are worried about the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and 68% are concerned about their personal finances, though they feel public health is more important than the economy…

    “The poll shows 79.2% of those surveyed say DeWine acted at the appropriate time against the spread of the virus. As for reopening a portion of the economy on May 1, 51.6% agree it’s time while 39.4% disagree.”

    A changed Boris. NBC News’ Patrick Smith is reporting, “U.K.’s Boris Johnson rules out swift end to coronavirus lockdown.”

    “British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday resisted calls to loosen the country’s lockdown as he resumed work three weeks after being admitted to an intensive care unit having contracted a serious case of the coronavirus.

    “Johnson — the first world leader to have fallen victim to the disease — urged caution and gave no clue as to how or when thousands of schools and businesses might return to normality, calling this the time of “maximum risk” of a second wave of infections.

    “Several neighboring European nations have either published plans or have begun lifting elements of their national lockdowns. Social distancing measures will be relaxed in Italy — Europe’s worst-affected country — on May 4, with restaurants re-opening next month. Johnson’s government has also come under growing pressure from some fellow Conservative Party members and business leaders to ease restrictions and help the ailing economy.”

    David C. DeWitt
    David C. DeWitt is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience covering Ohio politics and policy. He has worked for the National Journal, The New York Observer, The Athens NEWS and Plunderbund.com covering topics such as education, health care, crime and courts, poverty, government, business, labor, energy, environment and social issues. His work has also appeared in Government Executive, the Columbus Dispatch, Girlfriends magazine, Bleacher Report and the Ashtabula Star Beacon, among others.