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Ohio's Democratic U.S. Senator Frustrated with Republicans Over Biden's 'Vaccine Or Test' Mandate

 U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown tweeted out this photo as new chair of the Senate Banking and Housing Committee in February 2021. He supports President Joe Biden's for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate or regular testing of employees for businesses and says he doesn't understand some Republicans' opposition to it.

U.S. Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Tim Ryan (D-Niles) has announced he has COVID-19, saying he knows if he weren’t vaccinated, he’d be doing much worse.

Meanwhile, Ohio’s current Democratic U.S. Senator is sounding off about President Joe Biden’s plan for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate or regular testing for businesses.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said he supports the vaccine or testing mandate, though Ohio’s Dave Yost is one of 24 Republican attorneys general signing onto a letter demanding Biden drop the mandate or risk getting sued.

“I don’t understand how one political party has been taken over by radicals who are so strongly opposed to this important public health measure," Brown said in an interview.

Ohio’s Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman hasn’t commented on the mandate, though the Republicans running to replace him have shared their strong opposition in controversial videos and tweets.

Former Ohio Republican Party chair Jane Timken referred to it as a "power grab." Cleveland businessman Bernie Moreno called it "horrific policy and illegal." Cleveland businessman Mike Gibbons referred to it as "tyrannical." Venture capitalist J.D. Vance called for "mass civil disobedience" and said the mandate was "morally reprehensible." And former state treasurer Josh Mandel tweeted out a video comparing the mandate to "the gestapo," which sparked outrage from many, including the Anti-Defamation League.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce hasn’t criticized the mandate, but in a statement the Ohio Chamber of Commerce said “limiting employer rights are not the right approach.”
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.