Sherrod Brown praises Gov. DeWine, blasts Trump in handling of outbreak

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U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, left, speaks with N.H. Rep. Tom Sherman, D-Rye, prior to an economic roundtable discussion at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, N.H., Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. Sen. Brown is weighing a run for in 2020 presidential race. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown praised Gov. Mike DeWine’s leadership during the COVID-19 outbreak while blasting President Donald Trump.

Brown made the statements during a Thursday conference call while addressing the $2 trillion stimulus package that was passed earlier in the day. He said he hoped news outlets would quit carrying Trump’s live COVID-19 taskforce press conferences.

“I don’t criticize the media much, but I wish they wouldn’t air these,” Brown said. “I can’t believe he continues to give out medical opinions about what medicines work and to say when vaccines would be ready. They can air what he says, but don’t do it live and have a chyron of his comments running underneath.

“For him to say things that endanger public health is really troubling. Most senators in both parties wish the president would back off and let the medical professionals talk.”

Brown said DeWine’s early handling of the crisis would probably have Ohio on a faster track to getting past the outbreak than other states. Trump said during press conferences last week he wanted the country to be back to work by Easter in fear of damage to the economy. Brown believes Trump is making the outbreak look less serious than it actually is with the remarks he’s made.

“DeWine takes this job very seriously,” Brown said. “Trump was saying this was an impeachment plot by Democrats when DeWine was ramping up to work. I think Trump’s dismissal of how serious this is will get more people sick. I think there is no doubt Ohio will be in a better situation this month, the following month and the next month after that because of how the state and its leaders have handled this.”

Brown hopes stimulus package will be first of laws to address crisis

Brown said he worked with Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii to add legislation to the $2 trillion stimulus bill that would’ve protected people’s credit ratings during the outbreak. It was ultimately left out by the time the bill was passed.

This was one of several items Brown wanted to be included in the bill, including foreclosure protections.

“I was satisfied enough (with the bill) I voted for it,” Brown said. “It has so many good things for American workers, but people can still be dinged for missing a rental payment.”

Republicans criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for slowing the passage of the bill. South Dakota Senator John Thune said the effort on the bill was bipartisan until Pelosi arrived back in Washington DC this week. He said much of the bill’s funding was aimed at things Democrats wanted such as checks sent directly to Americans, improved unemployment insurance and funding to allow small businesses to keep employees.”

“That is $900 billion going to workers right there,” Thune said.

The full text of the stimulus legislation is available here.

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