GOP Guv. Tearfully Pleads Anti-Maskers To ‘Dial Up Your Empathy’ And End ‘Political’ Divide

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) speaks during a press conference announcing plans for the clean up of the Oceti Sakowin protest camp on February 22, 2017 in Mandan, North Dakota. (Photo by Stephen Yang/Getty Images)
|
May 23, 2020 6:17 p.m.

As some right-wingers in several areas of the country (and the government) openly defy requirements on wearing masks on ideological grounds in spite of the COVID-19 outbreak, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) despairs at the prospect of his state falling into the same quagmire.

“If someone is wearing a mask, they’re not doing it to represent what political party they’re in or what candidates they support,” the Republican governor said during an emotional press briefing on Friday.

“They might be doing it because they’ve got a 5-year-old child who’s been going through cancer treatments,” he continued, voice breaking.

Burgum took a moment to collect himself before continuing: “They might have vulnerable adults in their life who currently have COVID, and they’re fighting.”

Newsletters
Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

The governor begged North Dakotans to avoid “creating a divide” either “ideological or political” over the importance of wearing a mask with so many lives at stake.

“This is a, I would say, senseless dividing line,” he said. “And I would ask people to try to dial up your empathy and your understanding.”

Burgum’s plea comes as some of his fellow Republicans, including President Donald Trump, publicly refuse to wear masks that prevent the spread of COVID-19, disregarding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation.

Trump has reportedly told his inner circle that wearing a facial covering would send a poor message as he attempts to get the country reopened as soon as possible.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who is also a doctor, has similarly declined to wear a facial covering, arguing that he has “immunity” because he’d already had the virus.

Watch Burgum below:

Latest News
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Audience Development Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: