North Dakota governor on brink of tears as he decries ‘mask shaming’

North Dakota governor on brink of tears as he decries ‘mask shaming’

In North Dakota on Friday, the Republican governor, Doug Burgum, decried a “senseless dividing line” between US citizens over whether masks should be worn in public during the coronavirus pandemic. As he pleaded with citizens of his state to “try to dial up your empathy and your understanding”, Burgum was moved to the brink of tears. “We’re all in this together and there’s only one battle we’re fighting,” he said. “And that’s the battle of the virus.” As Donald Trump encourages states to reopen their battered economies, federal authorities are recommending covering the face in public when social distancing is difficult, for example in grocery stores. Some states require residents to wear masks in public settings. North Dakota, where Burgum allowed reopening to start from 1 May, does not. The president has notably refused to wear a mask in public, although he was photographed wearing one on a visit to a Ford plant in Michigan this week. On Saturday, Secret Service officers who were with the president on a trip to a golf course were pictured wearing masks. Trump was not. Some rightwing protesters have attracted publicity by vociferously refusing to wear masks. Some shopkeepers have reportedly sought to refuse service to people wearing masks. Speaking to reporters at the state capitol in Bismarck on Friday, Bergum said he “would really love to see in North Dakota that we could just skip this thing that other parts of the nation are going through, that they’re creating a divide. Either it ...
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