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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Sherrod Brown Slams GOP Senators For Blocking Paid Leave Proposal

Jacquelyn Martin
Associated Press

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is criticizing Republican leaders for refusing to take up a paid sick leave measure proposed amid a growing outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus.

Brown’s measurewould require all employers to provide up to seven days of paid sick leave and 14 additional days in the case of a health emergency. 

In a press call Wednesday, Brown expressed frustration in a press conference after Senate Republicans blocked the proposal.

“I’m angry on behalf of millions of Ohioans and Americans who are scared right now," Brown said. "One of the most important things we can do to stop the spread is pass paid sick leave today.”

Separately, Brown applauded Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s efforts in response to the virus.

"I contrast how Gov. DeWine has handled this with how the president has, and Gov. Dewine understands that he is not an M.D., he listens to Dr. Acton,” Brown said, referring to Ohio Department of Health director Amy Acton. “And the president should do the same and listen to his health care professionals."

The Trump administration has floated the idea in recent days of a payroll tax cut that would extend through the election in November. The administration has come under fire after budget officials refused to back away from proposed budget cuts for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Brown believes the House will pass legislation similar to what he has proposed.

According to the CDC, the U.S. has seen 29 deaths connected to COVID-19. Nearly 1,000 cases have been reported across the country, including four in Ohio.

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Nick Evans