According to Politico, Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Sunday that his order requiring people to wear face masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic went “too far,” striking an unusual tone of modesty as some governors place their coronavirus decisions beyond question.
The Republican’s state is among those moving ahead with opening the economy back up.
Ohio reopening starts Monday
Ohio’s first phase of reopening will commence Monday, with construction and manufacturing slated to start up first, according to Politico. Other states are playing wait-and-see before opening up, citing fears of a “second wave” and the need for more testing.
Still, people all over the country have flouted stay-at-home orders, whether by protesting or just by living their lives unimpeded. Looking back on his decision to make Ohioans wear masks, DeWine said that he realized it went “too far” and that it would be futile, since people will not follow orders from the government.
“It became clear to me that that was just a bridge too far. People were not going to accept the government telling them what to do,” he said on ABC’s This Week, the New York Post reported.
DeWine had ordered people in his state to wear masks in stores on April 27, but changed his mind the next day, Politico noted. He said Sunday that residents were offended by the order, but his decision also sprung from his mentality has a Republican.
“Generally, Republicans are less inclined to have the government tell them what to do. And that’s generally how I am,” DeWine said, according to Politico.
DeWine strikes humble tone
DeWine’s statement makes for quite the contrast with some other governors (chiefly Democrats), who have adopted the mantle of “science” to keep their residents under what is — more or less — a form of indefinite house arrest. Controversy has continued to rage over lockdowns, and governors in various states, including Ohio, have faced protests.
Meanwhile, the Buckeye State has over 1,000 deaths from the coronavirus and over 19,000 cases of the disease, as Politico reported. The United States has over 1 million cases in total and nearly 70,000 deaths, according to Reuters.
Aside from DeWine, multiple governors and municipal officials have required the wearing of masks — a policy that came to many as a surprise, as health experts initially said that masks offered no protection from the virus, U.S. News & World Report noted. DeWine, for his part, is still recommending that people wear masks whenever possible, saying Sunday that they’re important to protect “essential” workers from catching the virus.
“When you go into a retail store, that is the kind thing to do, because I worry and we should all worry about the folks who are stocking shelves in grocery stores, the people in the checkout line who work there all day,” he said, according to the New York Post. “We’ve got to protect them.”
A governor with humility? Couldn’t be a progressive.