As the president goes, so go the Republican governors.
“The American people were born to serve, and that is what they will do, even if we have to starve them out to get it done.” — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.
That is the latest edict from the Ohio Statehouse where Republican Governor and proud Trumpian lap dog Mike DeWine is flouting his own safe re-opening guidelines for the state.
He recently announced the launch of an Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services program to facilitate turning in runaways that refuse to return to work due to fears of Covid-19, thus stopping their unemployment benefits. Covid-19 has killed more than 1,200 Ohioans already.
The official website for the program, https://secure.jfs.ohio.gov/covid-19-fraud/, directs that “Employers may use the following form to report employees who quit or refuse work when it is available due to COVID-19.”
Speaking at a press conference celebrating the inauguration of the draconian, soviet-style program, the governor called for Ohio employers to, “help us catch these dissidents, these mutineers and runaways, before they infect our loyal citizens with their seditious notions of safety and their foolish concerns for the well-being of their loved ones and all this stuff about testing.” Testing is readily available for people in close proximity to the governor, but rare to non-existent for ordinary Ohioans.
Oddly, Ohio put this particular web site on line quickly with no problems, while the web site for implementing the federally mandated PUA program for stimulus help for self-employed workers is still nowhere in sight more than five weeks after the state received the money from the federal government.
The ODJFS web site says the state is “waiting for further guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor on how to ‘operationalize’ it,” though the U.S. Department of Labor has updated their PUA guidelines three times since the Cares Act was signed into law on March 27th.
Other Republican states such as Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma and South Carolina have similar “Return the Runaways” requirements for employers to report rebellious workers refusing to expose themselves to the deadly virus.
The Trump administration has worked with the states for years to try to quell what the president has often called the “stupid, unreasonable expectation of bad, bad people in this country to think they have a right to eat and a place to live if they are not doing their assigned work.”
Some 600 Ohio employers have already turned in nearly 1,300 workers for putting their lives and the lives of their loved ones above obedience to the state. Some employers are even getting imaginative in what may be a contest of sorts for creatively regaining runaway workers.
“I’m buying Murder Hornets to chase my runaways out of their houses,” the owner of a manufacturing company in Findlay replied. “I’ll by God make America great again one runaway at a time if it kills them.”
The owner of a contract food packaging company in Hebron who has taped X’s six feet apart on the floor of her assembly line “for the fraidy cats” said she thinks it will only take a couple of weeks to a month for the virus to “wash through” the facility before things can return to normal. “We’ll probably lose some of them, sure, but I have a business to run,” Sheila Pappinson said as she monitored her minimum wage employees remotely from a “safe office” high above the factory floor.
“I’ll sure as hell turn them in if they don’t come back on their own, but I’d rather see some kind of Runaway Retrieval Force established by the state. That’s what I would do. Of course that’s if we can find them. Some of them don’t even have addresses.”
Governor DeWine’s office did not respond to a Humor Times request for comment, but Statehouse spokesperson Pat Bailey issued a written statement reading, “The governor, along with the rest of the great state of Ohio, believes it is every Ohioan’s duty to respond to the president’s call for a return to the way things used to be and ignore the possibility of a slow and painful death by suffocation so we can all get back to making America great again by getting the president reelected.”
“We are calling for every working-class Ohioan to be a warrior in the fight against this deadly economic enemy. Throw yourself into the breach to show our great president Ohio’s vast appreciation for his wise and benign leadership. Now get back to work Ohio! Turn in runaways and make America, and Ohio, great again!”