An open letter to Rep. Pizzulli, Gov. DeWine, Sen. Johnson.
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An Open Letter

To: Rep. Pizzulli, Gov. DeWine, Sen. Johnson

From: A verified voter in West Union, OH

May 13

You must immediately and fiercely speak out against the politicians and lobbying groups who are urging states to ban mask wearing in public. Despite what capitalist-driven rhetoric would have everyone believe, we are still in the midst of a global COVID-19 pandemic. On top of this, there is an increasing threat of H5N1 reaching pandemic levels. Current data shows that ignoring these two severe illnesses will continue to cause mass disability and death to your constituents. By allowing and encouraging talk of a “mask ban,” you are directly putting the people of Ohio at risk. Each disability that arrises from Long Covid, each death that H5N1 brings, will be ON YOU. We are tired of our lives being put in jeopardy for “the economy.” We are disillusioned by the lie that everything can go “back to normal.” You MUST take immediate action to ensure Ohioans have the right to protect themselves in public by wearing a mask. During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many conservatives proudly stated that they didn’t care if others wore a mask so long as no one made them wear one. Where is that sentiment now? Those who expressed that sentiment got their wish; politicians caved to these unscientific demands, forgoing public safety and refusing to mandate masks that would have protected their constituents. Those same people are moving the goal posts, DEMANDING that no one be allowed to wear a mask in the interest of “public safety.” How incredibly condescending to those of us who have continued to protect our communities for four years. It feels like a slap in the face. This is your opportunity to show that there is a single shred of humanity left in government, a single iota of decency and common sense, a single inkling of logic. It is also not a coincidence that talk of banning masks comes at a time of justified civil unrest. Many students protesting genocide on their campus have made a commitment to wear masks to not only protect their community from the spread of deadly illness but also to protect their identities. I understand that this generation’s level of knowledge and gumption may be frightening to you, but I can assure you that cracking down on ways for us to protect ourselves will only make our voices louder and our actions more bold. We are not going to continue to be complacent in this gross military industrial complex masquerading as a democracy. You MUST begin listening to your constituents and remembering that you work for US. I am asking that you take immediate action to draft and enact legislation that explicitly states all Ohioans have the right to wear a face covering, including a well-fitted respirator, at all times. Refusing to protect your constituents by doing so positions you as a direct threat to disability rights and civil rights. This is not a partisan political game, this is LIFE OR DEATH. We demand the right to safely live our lives free from prosecution.

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