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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine pushes back on mask criticism

He defended the use of masks after initially testing positive for the coronavirus on Thursday.

CEDARVILLE, Ohio — While Ohio Governor Mike DeWine received plenty of well wishes after testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Thursday, he heard some criticism as well.

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In particular, DeWine said he was sent some "I told you so" type of text messages regarding his ardent stance toward wearing masks.

But even though he contracted the coronavirus in spite of his mask use and physical distancing practices, DeWine said he stands by the use of facial coverings.

"I already got a few texts, not-so-nice texts from people about that. Sort of, 'we told you this is all fake and we told you that wearing masks didn't matter.' But look, we know it does," DeWine told 3News' Laura Caso during a Zoom conference call on Thursday afternoon. "If people take that lesson from the fact that I apparently have it, that would be the wrong lesson. It would be very, very sad and it would upset me quite a bit. That's not the lesson that should come from this.

"The lesson that should come from this is that we're all human, this virus is everywhere. This virus is very tough. And yes, you can contract it even when you're being very, very careful and even when you're wearing a mask. But your odds are just dramatically better. And my odds obviously weren't good the day that I contracted it."

RELATED: 'I thought masks worked?' State Rep. Nino Vitale writes post critical of face coverings after Gov. Mike DeWine's positive COVID-19 test

DeWine tested positive after undergoing a rapid test as a part of the protocol to greet President Donald J. Trump upon his arrival for a visit in Cleveland on Thursday. Lt. Governor Jon Husted also underwent a coronavirus test and tested negative.

The 73-year-old DeWine said he's not showing any symptoms, and hours later tested negative for the virus in a second test. After the initial results, he returned to Columbus, where he and his wife, Fran DeWine (who also isn't showing any symptoms) were tested again.


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