CLEVELAND, Ohio – In an open letter to Ohioans, Gov. Mike DeWine is pleading for the state’s residents to band together and fight the coronavirus.
His plea comes as the state continues to see record highs in new cases. It notes that while the presidential election Tuesday has deepened the political divide, “there is still so much more that pulls us together than tears us apart.”
“Today, and for some time to come, we also share a common enemy – one that cares not whether we voted for Donald Trump or Joe Biden; an enemy that is relentless and clearly on the march,” the letter continues, clearly referencing the coronavirus.
“As we confront this new enemy, time is not on our side. We must focus. We must rally together. And, in two days when this election is over, we must – as Ohioans – immediately pull together to fight it. The stakes could not be higher,” DeWine said.
DeWine echoed this message to a national audience on a morning appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” with host Jake Tapper.
“When we wake up on Wednesday, whoever wins this race, we have got to come together,” DeWine told Tapper. “We need to push aside these differences. We have a lot more in common… One of the things Ohioans and Americans have in common is, we have got to defeat this virus.”
In recent weeks, the governor said he has no immediate plans to close non-essential businesses or implement additional restrictions similar to those in March that helped Ohio avoid an explosion of cases during the first wave.
DeWine reiterated Sunday a point he has made during his bi-weekly briefings — that the coronavirus is spreading in Ohio primarily through gatherings like weddings, birthday parties and football watch parties, not schools or businesses.
“People are letting their guard down,” DeWine said. “We now know how important masks are…We know we can knock this thing down. And, if we do that and come together, this winter will not be as bad as many people are predicting it.”
In concluding his letter to Ohioans, DeWine urged citizens to “find common ground” to lower COVID-19 cases.
“It has been said, ‘One can find common ground only by moving to higher ground.’ Now is the time to move to that higher ground… We must put the past behind to move forward.”
Ohio has seen considerable increases in new coronavirus cases in the second half of October, with the new record high of 3,845 cases recorded in 24 hours reported Friday. COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are also on a worrying upward trend, compared to just a few weeks prior.