XENIA — The Greene County Democratic Party is calling on Republican Rep. Bill Dean to retract the statements he made Friday during a local legislative breakfast.
Dean, a Xenia businessman who represents Ohio House District 74, took 30 seconds of his allotted three minutes of speaking time during the video-conference to question the legitimacy of the pandemic.
“My take is different on all this stuff. This is all perpetrated by the Democrats to get Trump out of office, and some of the Republicans also,” he said during the annual Greene County Chamber of Commerce event. “It’s just a farce. It’s just all BS. We need to eliminate all the rules and let the private sector do what they do best and get back to work. And it’s been perpetrated by a bunch of snowflakes that are running our country. That’s all I got to say.”
County democrats released a statement Tuesday, asking Dean to “retract his divisive words and apologize for promoting an unfounded conspiracy theory.”
“The Democratic Party did not manufacture the COVID19 pandemic nor did it orchestrate the public health response which curtailed economic activity for the sake of minimizing morbidity and mortality,” the statement reads. “The Coronavirus has affected the health and financial wellbeing of both Republicans and Democrats. At this uncertain and trying time, we need leaders who can bring Ohio together and make efficacious plans for the future.”
Dean’s comments contrasted other Republican lawmakers who spoke before him. State Sen. Bob Hackett discussed the fine line of balancing Ohioans’ safety while carefully opening the economy for business. Rep. Rick Perales pushed to move the opening more quickly, but “not recklessly.” Many took time to commend frontline workers, first responders and Greene County citizens who are helping out their neighbors.
Reaction on Facebook was mixed.
Some called the representative’s words “reprehensible,” saying that they were “appalled.”
Another commenter wrote, “Thank you Rep. Bill Dean for landing clearly on one side of the fence.”
This newspaper is waiting on a response from Dean and will update the story when new information becomes available.
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