COLUMBUS, Ohio — “So you tested positive for COVID-19?!?! What a hypocrite!!!!”
“Hey heard you are sick. How did that mask work for you?”
“Let it run through the population, develop herd immunity and move on.”
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine apparently doesn’t shy from sharing his cellphone number with people who might turn out to be coronavirus critics.
After testing positive on one COVID-19 test on Aug. 6, and before testing negative later that day, DeWine talked of receiving a “few not very nice texts” which he summarized as: ‘We told you this was all fake and we told you wearing a mask doesn’t matter.’”
A public records request by The Columbus Dispatch yielded three text messages DeWine received that day concerning his positive rapid test conducted before his scheduled welcome of President Donald Trump in Cleveland.
Copies of the text messages contained the cell numbers of the people who texted him, but did not identify them by name since their numbers were not stored in DeWine’s phone.
“So you tested positive for COVID-19?!?!,” read one. “What a hypocrite!!!! You tell us to wear masks and you mingle in the crowd without one or wear your mask BELOW your nose where it does no good.
“What a loser of a governor we have here in Ohio … When will we get someone with a brain who truly cares about ‘We the people … ..’ ?!?! And YES I’m voting for TRUMP!!! You probably already guessed that. DRAIN THE SWAMP!!!”
A call to the telephone number of the author of the text on Friday afternoon resulted in neither an answer nor voice mail.
Another text the governor received: “All the precautions in the world and the governor still tests positive for coronavirus? It should be obvious by now you are not going to stop this virus.
“Let it run through the population, develop herd immunity and move on.
“Then again, it’s possible it’s a false positive because everyone knows these tests are garbage and a big joke. Live life and stop with the stupid restrictions which do nothing to tame this virus. It’s just another strain of the flu.”
The phone number of the person who texted the governor led to the voice mail of a man who appears to be a small businessman.
The third text read: “Are you going to call me back? I would like 10 mins of your time. I have High School and middle School athletes. I pay a lot in taxes and would like a call.”
Nearly two hours later, the person texted: “Hey heard you are sick. How did that mask work for you?”
A woman who answered the phone number did not recall sending the text and said seven people in her household have access to her phone.
DeWine’s cell number does not appear to be a state secret.
“Many Ohioans have the governor’s phone number,” said press secretary Dan Tierney.
Apparently so. The icon on the governor’s messaging app indicated he had 367 text messages.