Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine made it clear earlier this week that he is in charge when it comes to policies related to keeping residents safe during this coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m the responsible person. The buck stops with me,” he said.

While some people have praised the governor and his cabinet for decisions related to the coronavirus, others have been extremely critical.

We agree that in a democracy people have the constitutional right to freely voice their opinions. But there is no room for hate speech at any time.

Some critics of Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton have gone far beyond finding fault with her directives during this pandemic. What’s disturbing is the anti-Semitic signs and messages that are surfacing. This includes state Sen. Andrew Brenner, R-Powell, who commented on Facebook that “we won’t allow” Ohio to become Nazi Germany. The comment was made after Dr. Acton, who is Jewish, talked about re-entering daily life when the statewide shutdown orders end. After a wave of criticism, Sen. Brenner apologized.

We are equally outraged by the comments of Scott Pullins, Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder’s top adviser, who compared Ohio leadership to the Gestapo.

Gov. DeWine sent a strong and clear message that as the elected official, he is fair game for protests. His cabinet appointments work hard, he said, but he sets the policy.

Gov. DeWine said he was concerned by the anti-Semitic sign held by a protester outside the Ohio Statehouse during a recent protest rally.

“The sign was vile and disgusting. While even disgusting speech is constitutionally protected, it still demands condemnation,” the governor said.

If Ohioans are going to get through this health crisis, we must all stand together against hate.

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