DeWine to Visit Lordstown Motors Ahead of Pence

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A day before the Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to visit Lordstown Motors Corp. Thursday afternoon, Gov. Mike DeWine and his wife, Fran, will tour the plant Wednesday.

During his briefing Tuesday, DeWine said he was sorry he would miss the vice president, but that he and his wife have worked to avoid crowds during the coronavirus pandemic.

DeWine reiterated the state’s stance on large gatherings, saying while they are not prohibited, his administration is strongly advising against them.

When asked if his decision to visit the plant on Wednesday was a rebuke on the White House’s stance on assembling large crowds, the governor responded “it isn’t a rebuke on anything,” and complimented the vice president’s efforts during the pandemic thus far.

“I think he’s been stellar throughout this,” DeWine said. “If you could be on the calls and just listen to the exchange between governors and the vice president and the people from the White House and the medical people, I take at least a page or two of notes every time we do those conferences and I always learn things.”

In addition to reiterating the state’s stance on gatherings, he advised Ohioans to continue wearing masks when in public. Again, he was asked if he had spoken to Pence about wearing a mask during his visit to Lordstown Motors.

The vice president received public criticism for not wearing a mask during a visit to The Mayo Clinic in May. Pence later said he should have worn a mask and, a few days later, wore one during a visit to a General Motors plant in Indiana.

DeWine says he hasn’t communicated with the vice president about wearing a mask, but said he’s made his position on the matter clear.

“Look, the science is pretty clear about wearing masks,” he said. “It depends on how close people are together. When people are out in public, it’s certainly the safest thing to do, but I’m not going to tell the vice president what to do.”

The DeWines and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted will tour the plant, briefly meet with a group of senior staff members and get a first look at the 2020 Endurance All-Electric Pickup Truck. The visit will abide by safety and social distancing guidelines issued by the Ohio Department of Health, according to a press release.

“I think this is a big day for the Mahoning Valley,” DeWine said. “It’s a project that we have been very much interested in; very much supported.”

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.