Ohio Gov. Aghast At So Many People At Bar Not Wearing Masks: ‘We’re Going To Do Whatever We Have To Do ‘ To Stop This

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Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was upset Sunday to see photographs of patrons sitting close together and not wearing face masks at a bar in Columbus, vowing “to do whatever we have to do” to prevent it in the future.

The governor said he had “people there last night” to talk to the owners of the bar. He was responding to a question from Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“I want you to look at these pictures from a bar in Columbus, Ohio on Friday,” Tapper said, indicating it had been the “first day that outdoor dining businesses were allowed to reopen. Tapper noted the violation of social distancing guidelines and the lack of face masks. “Does it concern you?” (RELATED: Dave Portnoy Says He’d ‘Rather Die From Corona’ Than Lose His Business)

“Absolutely. I saw those images very early,” DeWine responded. “We had people there last night. The good news is that the ownership, the people running the bar, seemed to get control of it last night. We didn’t have to issue any citations. We did issue a citation to another bar in Columbus.”

The governor said that “candidly” he’s working with state Attorney General David Yost, “and we’re going to do whatever have to do if these things in fact occur across Ohio.”

DeWine was an early proponent of social distancing measures and halted a primary vote in the state over coronavirus concerns.

Despite his attempts to coerce more social distancing from people, DeWine admitted that “ultimately it’s going to come to Ohioans doing what Ohioans have done for the last two months” and keep their distance from each other. “We’re encouraging more people to wear masks.”

When asked if he is still “concerned about the virus,” and if he anticipated “a spike” in the disease because he has begun reopening his state’s economy, DeWine said he will continue due diligence. (RELATED: President Donald Trump: ‘We Have To Get Our Country Back … It Was Artificially Closed’)

U.S. President Donald Trump listens as Ohio gubernatorial nominee and Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine speaks during a campaign rally in Cleveland, Ohio., U.S., Nov. 5, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

“Well, we certainly hope we don’t see that. What I’ve said to Ohioans this week is that so much is in every individual’s control, 11.7 million people in Ohio: we’ve got to continue … to keep the space,” DeWine said, noting that “this is probably the most dangerous time, because we are opening back up — because we have to open back up.”

President Donald Trump established an economic task force in April with a mandate of balancing public safety with economic survival. He has encouraged the states to reopen as quickly as possible in order to alleviate the economic damage.