A hearing at the Ohio Senate Government Oversight Committee went off the rails this week after anti-maskers used it to unload a litany of grievances while simultaneously denying the deadly reality of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Ohio Capitol Journal reports that the Oversight Committee hearing was supposed to elicit public comment on a bill introduced by Republican State Sens. Rob McColley and Terry Johnson to give legislators the power to strike down state health orders that they believed infringed upon their freedoms.
While the two senators insisted that the bill was not meant as a rebuke of Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, the hearing was quickly overtaken by anti-maskers who lobbed their personal gripes with the governor's decisions to protect public health, including one man who directly blamed DeWine for his own failed marriage.
One woman, according to the Ohio Capitol Journal, bitterly complained that restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the virus had forced a local bakery to close, which meant she could no longer buy "cheesy bread with the best freshly made marinara sauce I've ever tasted."
A junior high school student, meanwhile, said that public health requirements at his school had made gym class far less enjoyable, as being forced to slap on hand sanitizer made dodge balls much harder to grip.
The Ohio Capital Journal writes that attendees at the meeting generally "downplayed the deadliness of the virus and shared a string of falsehoods about its impacts," while also noting that "almost none of those inside the crowded hearing room wore masks, nor did several of their Republican allies on the committee."
The novel coronavirus has so far killed more than 450,000 Americans in less than a year.