“I would really love to see in North Dakota that we could just skip this thing that other parts of the nation are going through, where they’re creating a divide — either it’s ideological or political or something — around mask versus no mask,” Burgum, a Republican, said during a news conference Friday in Bismarck. “This is a, I would say, senseless dividing line.”
He urged people to “try to dial up your empathy and your understanding.”
“If someone is wearing a mask, they’re not doing it to represent what political party they’re in or what candidates they support,” he said as his voice began to waver. “They might be doing it because they’ve got a 5-year-old child who’s been going through cancer treatments. They might have vulnerable adults in their life, who currently have Covid and they’re fighting.”
Burgum argued that if somebody wants to wears a mask, there should be no shaming.
“You should look at them and say that person’s wearing a mask because for them, there’s additional risk in their life,” he added.
Some Americans believe adhering to the rules infringes on their civil liberties, while others find it uncomfortable and hard to breathe through a mask.
Wearing a mask, however, could prevent seemingly healthy people from infecting others with coronavirus if they’re asymptomatic.
“We’re all in this together and there’s only one battle we’re fighting and that’s a battle of the virus,” Burgum said Friday.