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DeWine: Masks Should Be Worn And Shouldn't Be Partisan

House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) speaks to masked reporters after session on May 13, 2020.
Karen Kasler
House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) speaks to masked reporters after session on May 13, 2020.

Gov. Mike DeWine changed his initial mask mandate as a condition of businesses reopening, instead requiring masks for employees but not for customers. But while mask wearing has become something of a partisan symbol, DeWine said it shouldn’t be.

When lawmakers came back for session the last three weeks, some Republicans – including Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) – were maskless.  Some Republican members have been publicly touting their opposition to any kind of mask wearing in public, including Rep. Nino Vitale and Rep. Candace Keller(R-Middletown).

In an interview for "The State of Ohio", DeWine was asked if that’s a mixed message being sent to Ohioans, DeWine said his position is clear, but it’s up to them.

“I'm not going to tell them what to do, whether to wear a mask or not in session. The only thing that I would say is the medical science clearly shows that we respect one another when we wear a mask, and that's the best thing to do," DeWine said.

DeWine said something similar on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday: "This is not about politics. This is not about whether you are liberal or conservative, left or right, Republican or Democrat."

When asked about not wearing a mask at his press gaggle after session on May 6, Householder said he didn’t own a mask.

Masks are recommended in the Statehouse, but not required.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau

Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.