CLEVELAND — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above originally aired last month when Mandel announced his campaign
One of the early frontrunners to be Ohio's next U.S. senator is continuing his crusade against COVID-19 restrictions and health measures.
In a series of tweets Friday, Republican candidate and former state treasurer Josh Mandel once again railed Gov. Mike DeWine and President Joe Biden for their efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, such as mask mandates and social distancing guidelines in stores and restaurants. In particular, Mandel took issue with a Boston Globe article about certain places around the country adopting "vaccine passport" checks to make sure guests or travelers have been innoculated.
"WE WILL REVOLT... WE WILL RISE UP... WE WILL DEFEND OUR FREEDOM," Mandel wrote while speaking out against the possibility of such measures coming to Ohio.
Though the The Globe mentions Biden's administration is exploring the possibility of digital vaccination certificates, they would almost certainly not be mandatory and it would be up to individual businesses and locations (such as Madison Square Garden in New York) to decide whether or not to enforce them. The shots themselves have also not been mandated by either the state of Ohio or the federal government.
Later, Mandel also tweeted a link to a New York Post article that seemed to imply a Utah woman's death might have been linked to her receiving both doses of the Moderna COVID vaccine, although he did not definitively come out against receiving the shots. There has been no evidence to suggests the vaccines could be fatal, and while many people have had side effects such as sore arms or headaches (not uncommon with vaccines for other illnesses), any more serious side effects resulting from the shots have been shown to be much less likely than an unvaccinated person dying from the virus itself.
Mandel, a Beachwood native and former Lyndhurst city councilman, has made numerous false and misleading claims since announcing his Senate candidacy in February, including baselessly alleging that the 2020 election was "stolen" from then-President Donald Trump. He has also emerged as a harsh critic of fellow Republican DeWine, calling on him to immediately lift all of Ohio's coronavirus restrictions against the current recommendations of health experts.
Mandel and former Ohio GOP Chairwoman Jane Timken, who has been slightly more supportive of the governor, are currently the only two major candidates who have entered the 2022 senate race. The eventual winner will replace Rob Portman, who announced his impending retirement after two terms in the upper chamber.