Open Letter To Speaker Bob Cupp and Governor Mike DeWine

Dear Governor DeWine and Speaker Cupp,

For the past 164 days, our community has been under a declared state of emergency. At the beginning of this pandemic, we did not have the data we now have. We now have a clearer picture of what is going on. We know, according to the data we now have from the CDC, that only 1% of Americans have contracted COVID-19 and only 0.04% of Americans have died from COVID-19 (as of the week of July 10-15).

There are many secondary effects occurring in our state as a result, which include business closures, domestic abuse, child abuse, substance abuse, and numerous other issues.

Today, I would like to specifically discuss the suicide and drug overdoses happening in Ohio’s 80th House District. My community is hurting in many ways, and the heavy hand of government is harming individuals and businesses across our state.  When it comes to opioids, we have seen a 178% increase in drug overdose calls to the Troy Fire Department. The House, Senate, and Administration have worked hard combating the opioid epidemic over the past five years, but now we are unfortunately seeing a rise. We are also seeing a rise in suicide in our community. Troy has experienced a 267% increase in suicide calls this year. According to a recent CDC survey, 24.7% of 18-24 year olds and 19.5% of 25-44 year olds started or increased substance use to cope with pandemic-related stress or emotions. The same survey, taken at the end of June, found that 25.5% of 18-24 year olds and 16.0% of 25-44 year olds had seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days.

Again, I’d like to reiterate. According to the CDC, as of July 10-15, only 1% of Americans had contacted COVID-19 and only 0.04% of Americans have died from COVID-19.

Speaker Cupp, my request is that we go back in session and address the seven policy points I laid out last week.

Governor DeWine, my request is for you to remove the COVID-19 regulations that are on our state, and get Ohio working, educating, and living again.

Ohioans elected me to represent them in the legislature, and I will work diligently for every student to be back in school, every business to be open, and all of our rights to be protected.


Jena Powell, State Representative for Ohio’s 80th House District

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