Coronavirus: DeWine denounces hate speech from protesters

A small group of protesters assembled at the Ohio Statehouse just before the governor’s daily briefing on Friday. Laura Bischoff/Staff

While acknowledging the right to protest, Gov. Mike DeWine sharply rebuked a demonstrator who carried an anti-Semitic sign at the Ohio Statehouse.

Responding to a question from the Dayton Daily News, DeWine denounced the sign that showed a rat with the Star of David and the words, “The real plague.”

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“It was disgusting. It was vile. It should have no place in this discussion or any other public discussion. I thought that was very sad,” DeWine said. “… That’s not fair game. That’s wrong and I think everyone has an obligation to denounce it.”

Protesters have turned out at the Ohio Statehouse on at least four occasions to demonstrate against Ohio’s stay at home orders. Participants have used the protests to also express support for gun rights, opposition to government mandated immunizations, skepticism over “false models” used to justify public health orders, opposition to abortion and support for President Donald Trump’s re-election.

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