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Government & Politics
2020 is looking to be a pivotal year in politics. But this year's elections are about much more than the race for the White House. And the coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a complicating factor. WKSU, our colleagues at public radio stations across Ohio and the region and at NPR will bring you coverage of all the races from the national to the local level.

DeWine: No Mask Mandate At Political Rallies, But Wear One Anyway

Gov. Mike DeWine
Gov. Mike DeWine

Pictures of people at political rallies in Ohio recently have shown most of them unmasked, in large crowds. The state’s mask mandate has gone unenforced at those events. 

Gov. Mike DeWine says the state hasn’t enforced the mask mandate in churches because he respects the freedom of religion or at political demonstrations where Ohioans are exercising free speech. And he says political events fall into that protected category under the mandate but he says that with a strong warning.

“We really urge anyone who is conducting a rally, attending a rally, while we don’t require you to do it, the order does not say you have to, but please wear a mask. Please do social distancing," DeWine says.

Few people wore masks at this Women for Trump event in Columbus recently
Credit Dan Konik
Few people wore masks at this Women for Trump event in Columbus recently

Those pleas will probably go unheeded by many based on the lack of masks being worn at political rallies in the recent weeks, including one with Vice President Mike Pence in Zanesville where the crowd booed at the mention of DeWine’s name. President Trump is set to visit Ohio Monday and the Biden campaign is also exploring options for in-person political events in Ohio. 

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