Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Sunday he hoped President Donald Trump’s recent Covid-19 diagnosis served as “a cautionary tale” that inspired people to wear masks to help slow down the spread of the virus.
“What I hope is that what we have seen with the president is a cautionary tale for people, and people will understand that, look, it can happen to the president, it can happen to your family, and you wear a mask to help other people,” the Republican governor said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The president disclosed that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for Covid-19 in a tweet early Friday morning. It is not known where the president contracted the virus, but he was in the state of Ohio last week for rallies, as well as the first presidential debate with former Vice President Joe Biden in Cleveland.
DeWine said Sunday he was not at Tuesday’s debate, but was with the president for several minutes when he flew into both Dayton and Toledo. He said the White House had not reached out to him directly since the president’s diagnosis.
But DeWine repeatedly declined to call the president irresponsible for bringing the virus into his state, where many attendees of the rallies were not wearing masks and where there was not social distancing. At the debate, the first family was seen not wearing masks while in the audience.
“Doesn’t that upset you? … You were elected to protect the citizens of Ohio and the president and his team were putting them at risk?” CNN host Jake Tapper said to DeWine.
DeWine responded that the president’s team recommended people wear masks at the rallies, and some masks were handed out.
“This is something that we’ve been dealing with, not only in Ohio, but in this country, is that we have people who don’t think that they should be wearing a mask,” he said. “And, what we have tried to talk to everyone about is that, if you do wear a mask, you just — you’re going to cut down the spread, and you’re doing it for other people.”
“I’m not resentful,” DeWine added.
The governor also said that the president’s entry to Walter Reed Military Medical Center early Friday evening was the “right decision.”
This “should be kind of an alert to everybody that anybody can get the virus. Even the president of the United States can get the virus, and so we ought to use this, and simply just learn from it,” DeWine said.
“So, people who — maybe who have not worn masks in the past, I’m hoping that they will look at this and say, ‘Look, the president can get it, I can get it, it can happen to anybody.’ And I hope that that’s what happens and that’s what comes out of this,” he added.
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