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DeWine pushes back on mask criticism after contracting coronavirus

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine defended the use of masks after testing positive for the coronavirus on Thursday.

BREAKING UPDATE: Gov. Mike DeWine tested negative for the virus in a second test administered Thursday afternoon. MORE INFO >>>


While Ohio Governor Mike DeWine received plenty of well wishes after testing positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, he heard some criticism as well.

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."

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 is unsure how he contracted the coronavirus. Upon testing positive, he returned to Columbus, where he and his wife, Fran DeWine (who also isn't showing any symptoms) were tested again.