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Ohio Governor: ‘We’re Going to Do Whatever We Have to Do’ to Stop Virus Rule Breakers

Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on CNN’s “State of the Union,” told the host Jake Tapper he was upset when saw photographs of a packed Columbus restaurant-bar with patrons sitting close together and not wearing face masks over the weekend and claimed “to do whatever we have to do” to prevent it in the future, according to The Daily Caller.

DeWine said he had “people there last night” to talk to the owners of the bar.

“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?”

“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 we have to do if these things in fact occur across Ohio.”

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

The governor 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.

“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.”

According to DeWine the state has hit a plateau in terms of coronavirus cases but is trying to get the numbers down as it starts lifting restrictions.