Reporter's question about how governor's team is holding up personally evokes candid, emotional response

Posted at 7:16 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 21:47:13-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Every day, thousands of Ohioans tune in to Governor Mike DeWine's daily coronavirus news briefings for the latest facts, figures, information and orders issued by the governor and his staff. But on Friday, the audience got a dose of feels as well.

There was a rare and unexpected emotional moment at the briefing after a reporter asked the governor and his team how they are holding up personally during the pandemic.

Molly Martinez with Spectrum news asked DeWine and his team: “My question is for all three of you, really. It’s been months now that you all have been in a full sprint to get ahead of this pandemic. When the cameras are off, how are you guys holding up personally?”

DeWine laughed and turned to his wife Fran, who earlier shared a recipe, and asked: “How am I doing, Fran?”

Fran shared the fact that their friends recently gave them a new puppy, a year-and-a-half-old Springer Spaniel, to help them after their previous dog Teddy passed away in December. “She’s been good for Mike,” Fran said.

“She’s bonded to me, so I guess I’m bonded to her,” Gov. DeWine added. “We’re, we’re doing okay. There are a lot of people out there who are watching this who have had a much rougher time. And certainly, anybody who’s got the virus has had a difficult time. And our first responders, what they have to deal with. And so, we’re, we’re doing fine.”

Next, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted let Martinez know how he’s doing: “I’m very blessed to have a great supportive wife and family and I know I’m blessed with that. But honestly, every time I hear somebody complain, I always say, I know there are a lot of people out there who have it a lot worse than you do or I do, and I always think about them. I always think about what somebody who’s really struggling has to deal with. I just feel a sense of responsibility to do everything we can to serve them, and that’s what public services supposed to be about.”

Finally, Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton spoke, giving a response that turned emotional.

“Thank you, it’s kind of you to ask that question, and, you know, it is an honor to do this. It is a long haul. We work.” Acton said. "You don’t see behind the scenes, every decision is so hard got, and they’re working tirelessly, tirelessly and our whole team that you don’t see are. But likewise, if I could just say to my husband at home Eric I love you.” As she uttered those words, Acton became visibly emotional, with tears welling in her eyes.

“And you’ve just been so good to have the support you have makes all the difference, and my husband’s just amazing,” she concluded.

Even sign language interpreter Marla Berkowitz was clearly moved by Acton’s very real emotions.