Ohio governor: The economy won't open 'unless people have confidence'

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Sunday defended the steps he has taken to reopen parts of his state's economy, saying the safety precautions in place are meant to create consumer confidence.

“It’s a risk no matter what we do,” DeWine said on “Fox News Sunday,” noting the potential economic fallout from a prolonged shutdown and saying local businesses had helped develop best practices for reopening.

“The economy’s not going to open no matter what we do, whatever we order, unless people have confidence. And we’re trying to give them confidence,” he said, adding that the state would strongly encourage social distancing, masks and diligent hand-washing.

“These are basic things that we have to do. We can’t let up,” he told host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceMnuchin: Democrats will 'have a lot of explaining to do' if they want to challenge Trump orders in court Pelosi: Trump executive actions 'are illusions' Trump teases order requiring insurers to cover preexisting conditions MORE.

DeWine also pointed to a "great capacity" for testing in the state when it was noted that Ohio has not met the White House’s benchmark of two consecutive weeks of declining coronavirus cases.

“We are really at a plateau with hospitalizations,” he added.

But as far as overall positive cases, he conceded, “We wish we were going down. We’re not.”

“No one is underestimating how difficult this is, but it’s something we have to do,” he said.

“It’s really going to come down to the average citizen,” he added.

Asked about the risk of a potential scenario in which a spike in cases forces the state to reimpose lockdown orders, DeWine said that “our ability to open up Ohio is going to depend on whether people continue to do the social distancing” and take other precautions, noting that public health experts believe the state is currently at a 1-1 ratio of infections to recoveries.

“We know it’s a risk as we start the economy back open, but it’s a risk if you don’t too,” he added.