The Wrong Leadership For Health Legislative Committees In Ohio

Public health is high on Ohioan’s list of concerns thanks to COVID-19. In this regard, Senate President Matt Huffman and House Speaker Robert Cupp, both Lima Republicans, are clueless.

Huffman named Senator Steve Huffman, a suburban Republican from Dayton and a medical doctor, to chair the Senate Health Committee. Steve Huffman is also Matt Huffman’s cousin.

It’s not necessarily a problem. This is: At a committee hearing in June, Steve Huffman labeled Black Ohioans “colored” and suggested that personal hygiene may be one reason Black Ohioans have a disproportionately high rate of COVID-19 deaths and deaths. Infections than the white Ohioans have.

“Could it just be that African Americans – the colored population – don’t wash their hands as well as other groups?” Steve Huffman then asked. “Or wear a mask? Or are they not socializing? Could that possibly explain why there is a higher incidence? “

It wasn’t just racism or ignorance. It was a dangerous failure to understand the nature of the problem and the challenge.

Steve Huffman has apologized and said he took steps to remedy the situation. There is no reason to doubt it. Nor is there any reason to doubt that Huffman’s presidency will rightly lead Black Ohioans to doubt his commitment to their health needs. In the meantime, Huffman’s cousins ​​should consider seeing an audiologist about their tin ears.

Maybe Speaker Cupp should come with me. He reappointed Rep. Scott Lipps, a suburban Cincinnati Republican, to chair the House Health Committee. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that on an April conference call, Lipps said on the agenda of the health committee, “We’re going to face some bills that this group doesn’t like. And I need to have energy to stop this vaccine – this is coming.”

Lipps, “to break the record with the #FakeNews liberal media,” responded that he wasn’t opposed to vaccines, just enforced vaccinations against Ohioans (something that doesn’t happen).

“As for my files,” Lipps continued, “my children and grandchildren are all vaccinated and… I personally made sure that my parents received the COVID-19 vaccine at the ages of 87 and 85.

This is really good news for the Lipps family and nothing to disapprove of. But hundreds of thousands of Ohioans disappointed with the state’s confusing (arguably incomprehensible) vaccination schedule may wonder how they too can get one of those vaccination slots.

About our editorials: The editorials express the opinion of the editorial staff of and The Plain Dealer – senior management and the editorial office. As usual, editorials are unsigned and should be viewed as the voice of the news organization.

Do you have something to say on this subject?

* Send a letter to the editor that will be considered for the printed publication.

* Email general questions about our editorial team or comments or corrections to this editorial to Elizabeth Sullivan, Opinion Director, at

© 2021 Healthy with Hines