North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum on Friday begged residents to stop the "ideological and political debate" surrounding whether or not to wear face masks.
“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 trading a divide — either it’s ideological or political or something — around masks versus no mask,” Burgum said. "This is, I would say, a senseless dividing line and I would ask people 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 explained. "They might be doing it because they got a five-year-old child whose been going through cancer treatment."
The governor stopped for a moment as he fought back tears.
"They might have vulnerable adults in their life who currently have COVID and are fighting," Burgum said. "I would love to see our state, as part of being North Dakota smart, also be North Dakota kind, North Dakota empathetic."
The Center for Disease Control recommends those above the age of two wear a face mask when out in public. Infants under two, babies and those who struggle to breathe should refrain from wearing masks.
"Cloth face coverings may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others," the CDC website states.
Americans are encouraged to use homemade masks from shirts, fabric or handkerchiefs. There are directions for stitched and no-sew masks.