EATON — Nearly 50 people rallied on the Preble County Courthouse Plaza on Saturday in support of opening Preble County and Ohio businesses back up.
Ellen Horton and Denise Robertson co-organized the Preble County Rally Around Ohio event held on Saturday, May 9. The rallies, held in locations across the state and in Ohio,was spearheaded by Free Ohio Now.
“This is not going to be the last time we see this. We are going to be addressing this again,” Robertson said of the state government “taking away people’s rights to operate a business.”
“We had just a few days to organize it. I’m not at all disappointed. (We) saw a lot of support,” Horton said.
Preble County was one of 30-plus sites for rallies.
“Since we declared everything essential as commissioners, I’ve gotten a lot of support. A lot of emails. A lot of calls. Most people supporting, there were some people that are concerned about opening too early. But we have to open,” Robertson said. “I really think the hardest thing about him changing the date from May 1 to the end of May was how disappointed people were.”
Horton said the county has had one recorded death from COVID-19, which translates to .00025 percent of the population. “The are approximately 40,000 Preble County residents and there has been one tragic death, no denying that it is a very sad thing,” she said.
Horton said three main talking points from the rally are for Ohio to be free from government, to free the Ohio economy now, and to free Ohio’s data.
“The models that they used for the predictions of the tragic future that we would have as a result of the disease — they make no sense. They won’t give us the math they used to figure it,” Horton said. “We want to know who is responsible for that faulty information that instilled such fear in the people of this state and country.”
“I don’t think the CDC has the right to tell us what to do anyway,” Horton said. “Offer suggestions and recommendations, but if we were in Cuyahoga County maybe we wouldn’t be pushing for opening now,” Horton said.
“We’re not going to stop here. I’m real happy with the supportive response that we got,” Horton said.
Thomas Hach, state coordinator of Free Ohio Now, noted in a recent press release, around Ohio:
“• People are unemployed and uninsured; our economy is heading into recession.
“•Churches are closed.
“•Rates of depression, suicide, and alcohol/drug abuse are rising as stay-at-home orders continue.
“•Unemployed, divorced parents are falling behind in child support payments.
“•Countless small businesses remain closed by state mandates.
“•Factories are calling back some of their workers.
“•City, county, and state governments are seeing fiscal downturns.
“•Elections are not being held properly.
“•Food supply is strained and in jeopardy.
“•Constitutional rights are being trampled.
“•Many surgeries and attention to other essential medical needs are delayed.”
“We must get our lives back,” the press release noted.”
Find more information at www.freeohionow.com.
In Ohio, under the state’s ReStart Ohio plan, retail establishments were slated to be allowed to reopen following social distancing and hygiene guidelines on Tuesday, May 12, hair salons and other personal services, as well as outside dining at restaurants and bars on Friday, May 15, and restaurant and bar dine-in establishments on Thursday, May 21. Retail establishments not already open were permitted to do so for curbside and appointments for up to 10 people on May 1.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or follow on Twitter@emowen_RH.