Ohio State Representative Nino Vitale said in a Facebook post on Tuesday to “STOP GETTING TESTED.” The Huffington Post first reported on the post.
The Huffington Post reported Vitale has previously said he would not wear a mask because they cover the “image and likeness of God” and falsely claimed there are “many studies that exist that show, by actual research, that masks can be harmful, are banned, blocked and shamed.”
A 2019 Ohio Membership list obtained by Documented shows Vitale is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate-backed group that has been leading a coalition pushing to ease pandemic-related restrictions. The New York Times reported the coalition, called “Save our Country,” has advised the White House on reopening the economy.
Months after the coalition pushed for the re-openings, coronavirus infections have surged nationwide, including in Florida which has set records for coronavirus cases in the United States. ALEC had planned on hosting its upcoming annual meeting in person at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida but later made the decision to hold their meeting virtually.
“Because of recent developments in Florida as well as an increasing number of states requiring two-week quarantines for people traveling back from Florida, we believe it prudent to shift the Annual Meeting to an all-digital event,” ALEC stated. Prior to the decision, ALEC CEO Lisa Nelson boasted in April she was “confident that in the coming weeks states’ economies will looks for ways to safely and thoughtfully reopen and decision makers and stakeholders will see the importance of rebuilding their community, strengthening society and getting back to business.”
Below is the membership document outlining Ohio ALEC legislative members in January 2019: