COLUMBUS – A day after President Donald Trump urged his followers to boycott Akron-based Goodyear tires, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine urged the opposite approach.
“Look, we should not boycott this good company with good Ohio workers who are doing a good job and making a good product,” DeWine said in response to a question from a reporter. “We should not have any kind of boycott.”
Trump tweeted about Goodyear after a news report that the tire maker was telling employees, as part of a diversity training program, to not wear MAGA gear at work or to use statements that include “Blue Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter.”
“Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES – They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS,” Trump tweeted.
Goodyear, in a statement, said that the company does not endorse any political organization, party or candidate. Employees can support law enforcement and racial justice with their apparel.
“We have a longstanding corporate policy that asks associates to refrain from workplace expressions in support of any candidate or political party,” Goodyear Chairman and CEO Rich Kramer said in a statement.
DeWine said that, in general, he leans toward allowing people to express themselves under the first amendment.
“I would just think companies should be as open to First Amendment things as they can,” DeWine said. “That’s the kind of country this is.”
DeWine faced some criticism for not immediately coming to the Ohio tire company’s defense Wednesday. Akron officials, state lawmakers, Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and even former Vice President Joe Biden condemned the boycott.
Unlike former Gov. John Kasich, DeWine has largely avoided criticism of Trump. Kasich, who ran as a Republican, spoke at the Democratic National Convention in support of Biden this week.
‘Enough is enough’ on gun violence
DeWine lamented a recent spate of gun violence across Ohio, including a deadly weekend in Cincinnati where 18 people were shot, four of them fatally.
Across the state from Aug. 14 to Thursday, the governor counted 56 people shot and 17 of those victims died.
“Enough is enough,” he said, adding that there is legislation pending before Ohio lawmakers that would address gun violence, particularly in helping “keep those most likely to commit gun violence off the streets.”
DeWine is advocating for increased penalties for people who illegally have guns or who sell them to minors.
The state’s GOP-controlled Legislature has often prioritized passing legislation that improves access to firearms rather than proposals that restrict access to guns.
Performing arts will get reopening details Friday
The performing arts community in Ohio didn’t get any answers from DeWine on Thursday, but he promised to share details about reopening Friday.
The performing arts sector is one of the last to get reopening guidance from the governor. In July, Kim Kern, managing director and CEO of The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, told The Enquirer the delay is “crippling” the industry.
“Every minute we don’t have guidance, we’re either spending unnecessary money on a production that won’t happen or falling behind on a production that will happen but we don’t have time to put it on,” Kern said.
Adult day care centers, senior centers to reopen
Adult day cares and senior centers can reopen in Ohio on Sept. 21.
The facilities will have to follow certain guidelines, including limiting capacity, screening people who enter, doing baseline and repeat testing and implementing strict cleaning procedures.
Adult day cares and senior centers have been shut down since late March.
Clermont County remains ‘red’ on heat map
Nine Ohio counties, including Clermont County, were designated red on the state’s new color-coded alert map for COVID-19. That was the lowest number of red counties since the heat map was created.
Red is the second-highest alert level, indicating “very high exposure and spread” of the coronavirus. Residents of red counties are asked to “limit activities as much as possible.”
DeWine said “there are limited small outbreaks” in Clermont County but county health officials report spread in the community and household transmissions.
That didn’t stop the Clermont County Republican Party from urging DeWine to roll back “universal mandates and orders.”
Hamilton, Butler and Warren counties were and remain orange on the map, the second-lowest alert level. Orange indicates “increased exposure and spread” of the virus, with residents asked to “exercise high degree of caution.”
As of Thursday afternoon, Ohio Department of Health reported 112,003 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, including 1,122 reported in the past 24 hours.
To date, 3,929 Ohioans have died from COVID-19, including 22 death reported in the past 24 hours.
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