GOP lawmaker suggests Amish have no COVID problems anymore because 'they've culled the herd'

On Wednesday, during a debate in the Ohio House of Representatives on a bill to allow lawmakers to veto pandemic orders from the state health department, GOP state Rep. Diane Grendell defended a hands-off approach to public health, by arguing that Ohio's Amish community was able to "cull the herd" by letting the virus infect them.

"The Amish in our community ... they refused to wear masks. They refused to because they believe in God, they have that faith in God," said Grendell, who has previously spread conspiracy theories that the state health department's COVID-19 death statistics have been "corrupted."

"They had, initially, I think seven Amish died initially," said Grendell. "And many of them were older, and they have their other problems. But now they don't have it anymore. They've culled the herd, so to speak. And we still aren't doing it, we're taking vaccines now."

Ohio Republicans have attempted multiple times to restrict the state health department's powers. Gov. Mike DeWine, himself a Republican, vetoed a similar bill in December.

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