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Cavuto: In fact, it’s coming with a very, very strong sense of urgency in the state of Ohio. Richard Jones is the Butler County Sheriff, but if you are expecting he’s going to be the mask police, don’t anticipate that. Sheriff, very good to have you. So what do you do if you go around town, Sheriff, and you see a lot of people not heeding add advice to wear masks? What do you do?
Jones: I tell ’em hi, how are you, have a nice day. I’m not the mask police. And people are fed up, Neil. Down here in the heartland and all over the country. I wear a mask when I go out in public, I wash my hands, but it should be your right to wear a mask. And the police are so decimated. They’ve had their budgets cut this year because of the Covid, places are closed now, people are angry, and the police don’t have the resources. I told ’em don’t call 911, don’t call my dispatch centers, we have all we can take.
The governor’s a nice guy, he’s a good guy and he believes in what he’s doing, but I am not going to write citations, I’m not going to go ahead and arrest people for not wearing a mask. Period.
Cavuto: You know, when higher-ups hear that, sheriff, are you afraid you’re going to get an earful or worse from people?
Jones: Oh, listen, I’ve been the sheriff going on my fourth term. I’m unopposed this time. I’m the 8th of 88 counties in Ohio, one of the largest, and I expect the governor will call me. He’s called me before. I’m a very outspoken individual, but I’m not the only one. People are tired, but I’m the first one, and I expect I’ll get an earful maybe, but I’ll be very respectful.
He’s not my boss and I’m not going to be the mask police. And when he done the first regulation and locked businesses down, I told him I’m not going to be the bar police, I’m not going to be the restaurant police. If they want to do it, they can call the governor’s office or they can call the health department and give them a yellow light. They can go around and give people citations, but I promise you, Neil, the people are tired, and they won’t like it. Period.
Neil: I can appreciate that, sheriff. You hear from those in the medical community that say the very least, however you feel about wearing a mask, it does go a long way to making sure the people around you don’t get anything. Protects you and them. So they’re flirting with, you know, cases igniting in your state, even in your county. What do I you say?
Jones: We’re doing more testing. That’s all it is. You can drive up and get testing. Our hospitals aren’t full. In our county alone we’re not even at capacity, 10% are in there for the illness, and the others are not. Most of them are all getting tested. If they have it, they go home. We’ve not had anybody that dies from it. It’s terrible, it’s a tragedy, I agree.
But we have shootings, we have car crashes, people die every day. It’s all a tragedy. But our community cannot do any more shutdowns. People are laid off, they’re not working, they’re angry as Hell, and I wish the governor would come down and talk to people. I believe he surrounds himself with people think like him, which sometimes people do, but you need to get out and feel what people are feeling. I do. I feel it and they’re tired and wore out. And they’re confused. Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask. I talk to hospital people. Hospitals have laid off because during the Covid they went ahead and put people, they done all the elective surgeries and cut ’em all down. I went to the emergency room the other day because I was, hurt my leg doing an athletic maneuver because I’m not 22 anymore and it caused me some grief — [laughter] but I had to wait two hours, Neil, which is normal. But the lady that checked me in wasn’t a receptionist, he was the nurse. So they’re all doing double duty. Wings are closed down because of this. So it’s a catch 22. People are tired but people want to go to work.
Barbers aren’t back to work, restaurants aren’t going to open even when they give them the go sign. Restaurants only allowed to have so many, you know, 25, 50%. They can’t make a profit. So there comes a point we’ve got to go back to work. If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. Neil, I like to wear a mask when I go places because people don’t know who the Hell I am. [laughter] I was somebody and they said I’m glad there’s no police in there, I looked around and said, me too. So there’s a good thing about wearing a mask. [laughter]
Neil: a lot of people recommend I wear a mask all the time. Just because they’re not fans.
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