COLUMBUS, Ohio —
Protesters were heard interrupting Thursday's coronavirus briefing at the Ohio Statehouse, right before Dr. Tony Armstrong of Toledo was introduced during Dr. Amy Acton's portion of the presentation.
Dr. Armstrong, an OB/GYN in Toledo, discussed the racial disparities that are being seen with those suffering from COVID-19, and protesters could be heard throughout the discussion.
"If minorities do get this virus, the outcome is more likely to be poor," Armstrong said. Armstrong also said in Toledo, telehealth is being employed as a means of getting care to communities, and communities of color.
The shouts of protesters were clear several times, coming from outside the Ohio Statehouse. Protesters were demonstrating against Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Acton's stay-at-home actions during the coronavirus pandemic. Many of the protesters are angry, saying DeWine and Acton do not have the power to shut down businesses.
About 100 people marched past the statehouse carrying signs and chanting, "Open Ohio," referencing their anger that businesses are closed and people are not working. Some signs read "LET MY PEOPLE GO: to schools, to parks to work," "Quarantine Worse than Virus," and "BALANCE THE RISK #OPENOHIO."
Dr. Acton addressed the protest during her briefing as it occurred outside.
"I don't know if you can hear on television, but there are people protesting right outside the statehouse. And people are worried, they're afraid. They're worried about their jobs. But we have to keep pushing forward with Ohio's plan for getting through the crisis. It's working," she said.
She equated the effort to climbing a mountain, saying it takes patience, planning and teamwork.
"This is a hard mountain to climb, everyone. My husband and I tried to climb the highest mountain in the United States, Mount Whitney. Climbing mountains takes an incredible amount of teamwork ... getting to each base camp safely. We will not leave your side as we get through this arduous journey ahead. ... We will escort you equally as carefully. We aim to be one of the most aggressive states when it comes to recovery," she said.