Ohio governor: Wearing a mask 'is not about politics'

Ohio governor: Wearing a mask 'is not about politics'
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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said the decision whether or not to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic should not be political. 

“This is not about politics, this is not about whether you're liberal or conservative, left or right, Republican, Democrat. We wear the mask, and it's been very clear what the studies have shown, you wear the mask not to protect yourself so much as to protect others. And this is one time when we truly are all in this together,” DeWine said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” 

He said that officials aren’t urging people to wear face covering when they’re driving alone or hiking or doing activities in their own house. 

“But when you go out and interact directly with people, we're asking Ohioans to do this...it's not about politics, it's not about conservative or liberal. It's about helping other people,” he said. 

His comments were in response to another Republican governor, North Dakota’s Dough Burgum, who issued an emotional plea for residents in his state to skip the “ideological and political” argument about the use of face masks. 

DeWine said Burgum is “spot on.” 

“I've watched that clip a couple of times,” DeWine added. 

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Burgum said Friday the political debate “is a senseless dividing line” and asked people to “try to dial up your empathy and your understanding.” 

“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 have a 5-year-old child who’s been going through cancer treatments. They might have vulnerable adults who currently have [COVID-19] and are fighting,” he added.