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DeWine calls on protesters to observe social distancing

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said Sunday that he did not object to protests against closures in the state as long as demonstrators did not violate social distancing measures.

“We’re all big believers in the First Amendment… they were protesting against me yesterday and that’s just fine, they have every right to do that,” DeWine said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” referencing a Saturday demonstration at the Ohio statehouse, one of several across the nation.

“We’re going to do what we think is right, what I think is right, and that is, try to open this economy, but do it very, very carefully so we don’t get a lot of people killed, but we have to come back, and that’s what we’re aiming to do beginning on May 1,” he added.

DeWine also said that while Ohio has “had a great partnership with the president and the vice president” on the coronavirus response, “I could probably double, maybe even triple testing in Ohio virtually overnight” if the FDA took action.

“We really need help. [If] anybody in the FDA is watching, this would really take our capacity up literally overnight,” he added.

Numerous governors have sounded the alarm on what they say is insufficient state testing. Maryland’s Larry Hogan (R) told CNN’s “State of the Union” that states are struggling with a testing kit shortage.

“To try to push this off and say the governors have plenty of testing and they should just get to work on testing, that somehow we aren’t doing our job, is just absolutely false,” Hogan, who is also chairman of the National Governors Association, said Sunday.

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