North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum fought back tears at Friday's press conference as he asked the state's residents to be empathetic about wearing masks.

Burgum pleaded with residents to not look at wearing masks as an ideological issue.

"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 are creating a divide either ideological or political or something around mask versus no mask," Burgum said. "This is a, I would say, senseless dividing line and I would ask people to try to dial up your empathy and your understanding."

Burgum got emotional as he continued.

"If someone is wearing a mask, they're not doing it to represent what political they're in or what candidates they support; they might be doing it because they have a 5-year-old child who has been going through cancer treatments," Burgum said, pausing to collect himself.

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"They might have. . . ," Burgum started before, again, pausing to collect himself, "vulnerable adults in their life who currently have Covid and are fighting. So, again, I would just love to see our state, as part of being North Dakota smart, also be North Dakota kind, North Dakota empathetic."

North Dakota currently does not have any requirements to wear a mask.

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