Gov. Mike DeWine Coaxes Ohioans into Getting Vaccinated with $1 Million Giveaways

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine acknowledges members of the media while entering his residence after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the day Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Bexley, Ohio. DeWine tested positive using a rapid test Thursday, before testing negative later in the day using a more sensitive laboratory-developed test. …
AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

In an attempt to coax Ohio residents into getting vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced on Wednesday that vaccinated Ohioans will be entered into a drawing in which five winners will be chosen, each of them winning $1 million in taxpayer money.

Gov. DeWine added that “the Ohio Department of Health will be the sponsoring agency for the drawings, and the Ohio Lottery will conduct them” and noted that “the money will come from existing federal Coronavirus Relief Funds,” which are taxpayer dollars.

The governor also announced a separate drawing in which vaccinated students will be entered for their chance to win a full, four-year scholarship to a university in Ohio. The scholarship will include tuition, room and board, and books, and five students (12-17 years old) will be chosen as winners.

“Getting our 12- to 17-year-olds vaccinated is so important that we will have a separate incentive for them,” insisted DeWine, who added that for five straight weeks, one student will be randomly selected to win the scholarship.

In a follow-up tweet, the governor went on to insist that the million-dollar drawing is not a waste of money and that the “real waste” is Ohio residents not getting vaccinated, “when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it.”

Former Ohio congressman Jim Renacci (R) — who is considering a run against DeWine in the next Republican primary — reacted to the governor’s announcement, telling Breitbart News that DeWine’s initiative “is crazy, ridiculous, and a waste of taxpayer money.”

Renacci added that even if the money is coming from federal coronavirus relief funds, there are many other things it could be used for.

“We should be reinvesting this money back into our state, our communities, our lakeshore — there are so many places we could reinvest this money, and yet we are going to give it away, just for getting a shot,” Renacci said.

“We are borrowing money from China, giving it to the states, and then the states are doling it out — imagine a governor writing a $1 million dollar check every week, for five weeks,” he added.

“This is a perfect example of how career politicians waste money,” Renacci said. “This is an idea that would only come from a Democrat, yet it’s coming from a Republican governor. This is not what a Republican governor of any state should be doing.”

When asked if he would run against DeWine in the future, Renacci said, “I’ve been considering that.”

On Wednesday, a recent polling memo shared with NBC News suggested Gov. DeWine is vulnerable, and Renacci could beat him in a Republican primary.

“I do hope that the state legislator steps up, and stops this wasteful spending that the governor is proposing,” Renacci said of DeWine’s vaccine drawing.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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