Ohio Republicans want to impeach their GOP governor for fighting the pandemic

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Gov. Mike DeWine is one of few Republican governors to implement a mask mandate and other coronavirus restrictions.

Amid yet another massive surge of the coronavirus, four GOP lawmakers in Ohio filed 12 articles of impeachment against the state's Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, accusing him of "mismanagement, malfeasance, misfeasance, abuse of power, and other crimes" for implementing measures to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

The four state representatives appear most angered by DeWine's mask mandate — a policy public health experts say is one of the best ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus before a vaccine is widely available — saying that requiring Ohioans to wear masks is "offensive, degrading, humiliating, and insulting."

"Rather than hearing the cries of Ohioans, Governor DeWine continues to stifle those cries by finding more inventive ways to use masks to muffle the voices of the people," GOP state Rep. John Becker wrote in a statement.

DeWine is one of just a handful of Republican governors across the country to have implemented a statewide mask mandate.

And he's taken heat for it, as the GOP has turned what should be a benign public health policy into a political lightning rod — helping push Republican voters against mask-wearing in the process.

The effort to impeach DeWine over public health regulations to stop the spread of the coronavirus comes amid a third wave of the virus.

Cases are currently skyrocketing across the entire United States, with hospitals in some pockets of the country at risk of becoming overcrowded due to the surge.

More than 268,000 people have died from the virus to date, including 6,429 in Ohio, according to data from the New York Times.

DeWine called the effort to impeach him "foolishness."

"I'm not talking about most Ohioans — just a small number of people who for whatever reason just continue to think and act this is some big joke and this is all some fantasy," DeWine said at a news conference, according to the Washington Post.

Impeaching a governor in Ohio is not an easy task. First, a majority of members of the state House would have to pass the articles of impeachment. After that, two-thirds of the state Senate would have to convict DeWine on those charges.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.