Republican Gubernatorial-elect Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine gives his victory speech after winning the Ohio gubernatorial race at the Ohio Republican Party’s election night party at the Sheraton Capitol Square on November 6, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.
Justin Merriman | Getty Images
Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine addressed the controversial debate on wearing masks Sunday, telling the public that doing so is important to protect the health of others and the issue shouldn’t be politicized.
“This is not about whether you’re liberal or conservative, left or right, Republican or Democrat,” DeWine told NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.”
As states across the country begin reopening their economy and easing stay-at-home orders, DeWine emphasized the importance of following public health measures and wearing face masks, citing scientific studies.
“It’s been very clear what the studies have shown, you wear the mask not to protect yourself so much as to protect others,” he said.
DeWine’s response comes after North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, also a Republican, made an emotional plea on Friday to be more empathetic rather than shaming those who wear masks.
“If someone is wearing a mask, they’re not doing it to represent what political party they’re in or what candidates they support,” Burgum said. “They might be doing it because they’ve got a 5-year-old child who’s been going through cancer treatments. They might have vulnerable adults in their life, who currently have Covid and they’re fighting.”
DeWine said he agrees with Burgum and added, “this is the one time when we truly are all in this together. What we do directly impacts others.”
While public health officials continue to recommend the use of face coverings in public, President Donald Trump has repeatedly refused to follow such practice.
Trump visited a Ford Motor Co. plant in Michigan on Thursday, where he did not wear a mask during the public part of the tour.
Despite a state law and company policy requiring facial coverings, Trump said it was “not necessary” to wear one when a reporter asked why he was not wearing a mask.
“Everybody’s been tested and I’ve been tested.”
On Sunday, Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, told CBS’ Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation” that governors and elected leaders “should be setting a strong example on what kind of behavior we should engage in.”
“If we’re more careful on what we do, I think that’s actually going to facilitate a successful reopening on getting back to the important things, getting back to the economic activity,” he said.