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Ohio governor opposes anti-vaccination bill after conspiracy theorists claim vaccines ‘magnetized’ people

Gov. Mike DeWine has spoken out against a controversial bill that would weaken Ohio’s vaccination laws and grant more individual freedom, after false claims during a hearing on the bill that vaccines against coronaviruses “magnetizing” people have sparked mockery and anger on the Internet.

On Thursday, DeWine said he opposed House Bill 248 and asked Ohio residents to think about the impact vaccines have had on society.

“Before modern medicine, diseases such as mumps, polio, whooping cough were common and caused great, great, great suffering and death to thousands of people every year,” DeWine said at a conference. press on the latest Vax-a-Million winners. .

The House Bill 248 hearings gained national attention as advocates spread misinformation and conspiracies. The testimony of Dr Sherri Tenpenny, of Middleburg Heights in Cuyahoga County, and nurse Joanna Overholt of Strongsville sparked derision and mockery on Twitter and landed in the national press, including the Washington Post, CNN and Forbes.

“I’m sure you’ve seen pictures on the internet of people who had these snapshots and now they’re magnetized,” Tenpenny said at the hearing. “You can put a wrench on their forehead, it sticks. You can put spoons and forks everywhere and they can stick because now we think there’s a piece of metal in there.”

This assertion is false.

Ohio House President Bob Cupp, R-Lima, has defended the decision to give a platform to purveyors of disinformation. “Those kinds of things are aberrations. Most people who come to testify provide very valuable information to the committee when they deliberate on proposed legislation,” Cupp said when asked about Tenpenny.

After: Fact check: COVID-19 vaccines do not cause magnetic reactions and do not contain tracking devices

House Bill 248:

  • Prevent employers from requiring vaccination as a condition of employment.

  • Allow Ohioans to skip all vaccinations by making a written or verbal statement and require health districts, schools, or other government agencies to let Ohioans know how they can opt out.

  • Require schools to explicitly inform parents of the existing law that allows them to avoid childhood vaccinations for medical, religious or “reasons of conscience”.

  • Prohibit forcing unvaccinated people to wear masks, to be relegated to separate areas, or to incur other penalties.

  • Allow civil suits for violations of the bill.

  • Prevent health departments, schools, or other government agencies from requiring participation in a vaccine registry.

  • Repeal a requirement that students be vaccinated against hepatitis B and meningitis before being allowed to live in dormitories.

While DeWine has advocated for vaccines, he stopped short of calling on Ohio to remove the “conscientiousness” exemption from state law. This catch-all exemption allows parents to skip childhood immunizations for almost any reason.

Cupp said that “the current state law has worked pretty well, quite frankly.”

The Yellow Springs News published in April 1955 a photo of DeWine receiving his polio vaccine in second grade.

“Polio has frightened, an absolute terror, among parents. People have changed their behavior with their children. Their willingness to go to a football game or to go to the swimming pool with their children in the summer. The people were terrified. Polio is eradicated. DeWine said.

State Representative Beth Liston, D-Dublin, who is a medical doctor and has a doctorate in public health, said HB 248 is a dangerous bill leading to more deaths and illnesses.

“Not only would this prevent schools, businesses and communities from implementing COVID-related safety measures, it would impact the health of our children,” she said. “This bill applies to all vaccines – polio, measles, meningitis, etc. If it becomes law, we will see a worsening of measles epidemics, dormitory meningitis and children suffering from polio again.

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio GOP Gov. Mike DeWine opposes anti-vaccine bill

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